Steelbacks skipper Wakely pleased to have a home start in T20

Steelbacks' captain Alex Wakely

Steelbacks' captain Alex Wakely

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Time to prepare and home advantage could be key factors for Northamptonshire in the opening stages of the Friends Life t20.

The Steelbacks host Gloucestershire tomorrow night (Friday) under the County Ground lights and captain Alex Wakely, admitting that his charges go into the competition in good shape, is glad that they start on home turf.

He said: “It (home advantage) plays into our hands a bit but it also helps that we’ve had a bit of time to practice and get ready for the first game.

“A good crowd cheering us on could make the difference, we’re playing some good cricket at the minute and we have to take that into Friday’s game.

“Last year we were straight into it after a four-day game with no time to prepare properly, we then struggled and couldn’t recover from a bad start.

“Obviously we don’t want that to happen and we’ve shown that we can bounce back quickly if it does and that’s why a home game is ideal.”

Muddled selections and gameplans have blighted the past two T20 campaigns, the almost inevitable fallout from a poor run of results, but Wakely insists that simplicity will be the name of the game this time around.

He added: “Twenty20 cricket is a very simple game. There a lot of elements that make up a game but when it comes down to it, the simple things are where the games are won and lost.

“Such as which team hits the most boundaries, who takes the most wickets, these are the things that make the difference.

“You can’t really sit down and think ‘we’re going to win this game or that one’

“I think it’s dangerous to think like that and we’re looking at each game as a one-off battle.

“We could sit down and plan everything, what pitches we want, how we’re going to try and do things, but that might complicate things too much.”