Rossington happy to get back in the swing as Northants travel to Hampshire for pre-season opener

Northants skipper Adam Rossington says Thursday's opening pre-season friendly against Hampshire is all about getting the players back into the rhythm of playing cricket again.
Northants skipper Adam RossingtonNorthants skipper Adam Rossington
Northants skipper Adam Rossington

The County make the trip to the Ageas Bowl for a two-day workout against James Vince's team, and it will be the bulk of the players' first red-ball cricket since last September.

Restrictions that remain in place due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic meant the club's plans to travel abroad for a pre-season tour to Singapore were scuppered, and the players were only able to net outside for the first time last Thursday.

So the trip to Southampton is a great opportunity for the Northants players to shrug off their winter cobwebs and get back into the swing of things again.

"We have a squad of 13 going down there, and I think it will be you field 60 overs and bat for 30 on one of the days, and then swap it round," said Rossington of the Hampshire clash.

"We will try and get all of the batters a decent hit, and obviously all of the bowlers have got their workloads and target overs they need to hit, so it would be nice to get everyone a run out in a match situation."

Northants start their LV= County Championship campaign with a home game against Kent on April 8, and asked for what he hopes the squad can take from the Ageas Bowl date,

Rossington said: "It will be nice of somebody goes and gets a big score or takes a five-for, but the main thing is getting the bowlers' workloads up.

"They have their targets to hit to build them up to be ready for that first game against Kent, so we need to make sure they have bowled enough overs.

"With the batters it is just about getting some time in the middle, and getting away from that net, that cage and the closed environment.

"They will be able to actually look up and see the fielders, and they know that with the competition if somebody does go on and get a big score then it knocks down the door.

"So for the bowlers it is more about getting their rhythm and getting overs in their legs, and it's the same for the batters, but for them it is also always nice to get that first score early season and get going."

The Hampshire squad includes England batsman Vince as well as the likes of Sam Northeast, Australian seamer Kyle Abbott, Mason Crane and Liam Dawson, and play starts at 11am.

Following the clash with Hampshire, the Northants players return to the County Ground for an intra-squad match between themselves next Monday and Tuesday.

It will feature the players involved at Southampton as well as all of those that aren't, and Rossington expects that to be a very competitive fixture.

“The pre-season game next week will be 11 versus 11 and having a full day in the field," he said.

"That should be good with a lot of spots up for grabs, it means it becomes a bit more competitive than your normal pre-season game.”

As per Govenment guidelines, all matches are currently being played behind closed doors.