Langer ready for Steelbacks threat

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Somerset captain Justin Langer rates tonight's opponents Northamptonshire Steelbacks as one of his side's toughest potential opponents.

The Twenty20 Cup gets going at Taunton this evening with the visit of the Midlanders, who are being backed as a good outside bet to win the competition.

Langer, said: "They are one of the toughest sides you could face. They have a lot of experienced internationals, so it will be very tough."

Northants have former South Africa stars Lance Klusener, Nicky Boje, Johannes van der Wath and Andrew Hall in their squad.

Somerset will rest leading pacemen Andrew Caddick and Charl Willoughby. Steffan Jones and Mark Turner are expected to play.

Langer may move up the order to open with Marcus Trescothick with Craig Kieswetter dropping down to number five or six.

Wes Durston, Omari Banks and Arul Suppiah are added to the squad.

Langer said: "We were extremely disappointed to lose the quarter-final of the Friends Provident Trophy the other day but we have been inconsistent in our one-day cricket.

"We are looking to remedy that in our Twenty20 cricket.

"We have got to get the balance of our side right.

"Charl has been arguably our best one-day bowler so we have to get the balance right between resting him with the rest of the season in mind and keeping him fit and fresh.

"Mark Turner has a freshness about him.

"He is certainly one of the best fielders at the club. He will come into it and we have to work out the best way to manage Caddy.

"Omari has got one of the best work ethics I have ever seen. There are probably 18 guys who could get in the first eleven."

Tonight's game was a sell-out long before the news broke that the two Twenty20 Cup finalists will take part in cricket's inaugural Champions League.

A prize fund of £2.4million is up for grabs for the winners of a competition that will feature two sides from Australia, India, South Africa and England in October.

Meanwhile, Langer has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for 'service to cricket as a player and mentor and to the community, particularly through fund-raising and support for a wide range of charities, including children's leukaemia and cancer research organisations'.

Somerset (from): Trescothick, Langer, Hildreth, Blackwell, Kieswetter, de Bruyn, Durston, Trego, Phillips, Thomas, Jones, Turner, Banks, Suppiah.
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