All-rounder Samit Patel believes Nottinghamshire’s strength in depth holds the key to their hopes of pulling off a treble-winning season.
The Outlaws start their Royal London One Day Cup campaign against Sussex on Sunday having qualified for the NatWest Blast T20 quarter-finals and put themselves in contention for the County Championship title, five points behind leaders Yorkshire with six games to play.
Notts landed the one-day cup equivalent last season by winning the Yorkshire Bank 40 final against Glamorgan at Lord's and Patel believes the Outlaws will be deemed a prized scalp by their rivals this summer.
He told Sky Sports: “There’s a lot of excitement around the club at the minute. We’re playing well in four-day cricket, we’re playing well in Twenty20 cricket and there’s a lot of excitement ahead of the Royal London Cup.
“It’s going to be hard work. We’ve got a tough group, we’ve got to be on top of our game because we know sides will turn us over if we’re not. We’re still going to back our own ability but we’ve got to start well to earn the right to reach the next stage.
“I think we’ve been great so far this season but it doesn’t count for anything if we don’t do the hard yards.
“Teams will come here and think ‘if we can turn Notts over at Trent Bridge it will be a great effort’. Obviously we’ll say the same thing, if we can beat the likes of Surrey at the Oval and Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
“The strength and depth here is excellent with the likes of (Alex) Hales, (Michael) Lumb, (Riki) Wessels, (James) Taylor, (James) Franklin, (Chris) Read, (Steven) Mullaney… if we all do our jobs we’re going to be dangerous and we know that. I think taking responsibility is key and the extra 10 overs are good.”
Patel has fallen in and out of favour with all three England sides for a number of years, playing five Tests, 36 ODIs and 18 T20Is so far in his career.
He last represented England in one day cricket in the winter of 2013 against India but hopes a strong start to the Royal London Cup campaign will put his name back in the frame for a recall with the 2015 ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand on the horizon.
“It’s about time we played a 50-over comp because we need to replicate what England play,” he added. “The boys who want to stake a claim for England will want to play good cricket in 50 overs.
“I’m very happy with my own form, I’d have liked to convert my three (County Championship) 90s into big 100s but if the grass is greener everyday it would be great.
“Wickets are key for me. They will get me where I want to go. I know England are looking for spinners so the more wickets I get is crucial.
“I want to play Test cricket. It doesn’t come as naturally to me as one-day and Twenty20 cricket so I’m priding myself in four-day cricket at the moment because I know I can do the shorter format, it’s the four-day stuff where I want to get big runs and wickets.
“I’m targeting the India ODI series in England and then on to Sri Lanka. I don’t want to look to look too far ahead.”