Black Cap duo hav­ing real Blast at Bears

Birmingham Post - - SPORT -

JIM Troughton be­lieves Grant El­liott and Colin de Grand­homme have brought a “sense of fun” to Birm­ing­ham Bears – and is ex­cited to see where that spirit will take his team in the 2018 Vi­tal­ity Blast.

El­liott and De Grand­homme are back in Birm­ing­ham and, along with fel­low Black Caps star Jee­tan Pa­tel, will form the back­bone of the Bears’ T20 team.

Last sea­son all three were big con­trib­u­tors – El­liott as cap­tain and all-rounder, De Grand­homme as big-hit­ting bats­man and Pa­tel as skil­ful spin bowler – as the Bears reached the fi­nal.

And while Pa­tel’s mer­its have been ben­e­fit­ing the Bears for years, it was the ar­rival of his two New Zealand team­mates that took the team’s T20 cricket to an­other level last year, be­lieves first-team coach Troughton.

“T20 cricket is all about play­ing in­stinc­tively and enjoying it and that’s some­thing Grant and Colin have re­ally brought to the squad,” he said. “They have brought in a sense of fun and a sense of cu­rios­ity and if you mix that with the com­pet­i­tive­ness and skills of peo­ple like Jeets, you’ve got a great mix.

“Grant and Colin have been with us for a cou­ple of weeks now and joined us up in Durham last week for a bit of train­ing and a catch-up with the guys.

“They were both bril­liant for us last year, on and off the field. They have the per­fect at­ti­tude, en­cour­ag­ing ev­ery player to free up and be fear­less. That’s what T20 bat­ting is all about, while as a bowler you have only got 24 balls to make an im­pact on the game so it’s about man­ag­ing your emo­tions and ex­e­cut­ing un­der pres­sure.

“Some­times a long-hop will get you a wicket and then a de­cent ball will go out of the park, but as long as you have got plans and vari­a­tions you can give the bats­man some­thing to think about.”

says Jim Troughton, in­set

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