Northants ace Cobb in confident mood ahead of T20 clash with former club
Josh Cobb is in confident mood ahead of Northants' NatWest T20 Blast opener at his former county on Friday night.
The Steelbacks, who were winners in 2013 and runners-up last season, travel to Grace Road to take on Leicestershire Foxes.
And Cobb and Co are targeting a place in the quarter-finals as a marker of their success this season.
“We’ve got a good record in T20 over the past few years and we’re really excited in the dressing room,” Cobb said.
“There’s always a nice buzz around T20 and excitement about what we can achieve this year.
“We can’t wait to get going and it’s a great opening tie under the lights for the first time at Leicester.”
‘Josh Cobb, is a Leicester fan’ was the song from the stands when Northants visited Grace Road in the Championship,and Cobb is only too happy to remind his team-mates of his support for his hometown football club after the most incredible of seasons.
He now hopes to bring the winning feeling back to Wantage Road for Northants’ own success against the odds.
He forged a successful partnership with Richard Levi at the top of the order last season, with both batsmen making more than 400 runs.
And Cobb said: “It’s good batting with Rich, he’s played a lot around the world and really knows his game.
“He’s good to work with and hopefully I’ll get the chance to continue the partnership at the top.
“He’s very good at judging the situation at the wicket early in the innings which helps you map out your game and how you’re going to score your runs earlier than if you were having to figure it out yourself.”
But Cobb hasn’t yet mastered the technique for Levi’s trademark flick over the leg side.
“That’s one I’m struggling with!” he said. “It’s a unique shot and one he plays extremely well.
“I think he’s been working with Adam Rossington on that.”
Rossington flicked two sixes over square leg during his 78 against Kent, so maybe the method has been passed on somewhere in the Northants dressing room.
Cobb will also be a familiar face for Sekkuge Prassana, Northants’ second overseas player for the T20 Blast.
“I played against him in Bangladesh,” Cobb said. “He’s a good all-round cricketer and perfect for what we need.
“If you look around the world, leg-spin is doing very well in T20 cricket at the moment.
“I think he’ll be exciting with the bat too.
“He fits in well with us, a competitive bloke and a good fielder too.”
Prassana provides an unknown quantity to the Steelbacks’ small squad.
But Cobb says using a small amount of players in the competition can be an advantage.
“Role clarity is massive in T20 – more so than anything else,” he said.
“As players you have no excuse, you train for that role.
“If we’re putting out only 13 players throughout the tournament, the roles don’t change much at all.”
Northants will also look for a more profitable start to the campaign, having failed to win any of their first three matches last season.
“We’ve touched on that in our meetings,” Cobb said.
“We don’t want to be chasing the group again, so we’re looking at the first games and thinking if we play to our potential, we should definitely come away with a few wins.”