Foxes look for improved batting display
Leicestershire Foxes senior coach Tim Boon believes that the visit of Durham Dynamos tonight (5.30) could prove even tougher than Wednesday's Twenty20 opener against Lancashire Lightning.
Boon's men lost by 52 runs against the Lightning so it is clear they have to make a significant improvement, most notably in their batting, if they are to challenge Durham.
The men from the north east won their first match, beating Derbyshire in a rain-affected match and, although they will lose Paul Collingwood to England duty this evening, their squad retains a powerful all-round look.
"I think they value this competition and are putting out the best side available to them," said Boon. "They have also added to their squad and strengthened it specifically for this form of the game."
Durham have brought in two South Africans recently with Shaun Pollock and Albie Morkel adding their considerable talents to the Dynamos roster. First and foremost, though, Leicestershire know that they have to get their own game right.
There were areas on Wednesday in which they looked good. Their bowling was sound and that was well supported in the field. However, their batting was not up to scratch and they never really challenged Lancashire's modest total of 157-7.
"We had a good meeting yesterday,'' said Boon. "We looked back on the areas where we know we have to improve.
"As I said after the Lancashire game, we have to make sure that we have two key partnerships and ensure that our top batters bat through the majority of the overs. That is the key thing - we need two of our senior batters to fire.
"If you look at the side, though, it has probably six players different from the last couple of years. So there has to be a period of acclimatisation as the new players come in. It is important that they slot into the roles that we want them to play."
Boon has named an unchanged 13 for tonight's game and Matt Boyce, one of the few successes on Wednesday night, will continue at the top of the order.
"He played superbly," said Boon. "He was faced by three international bowlers in the Lancashire attack and didn't look out of place."
Boon is looking for him to carry that kind of form forward, while at the same time hoping that key batsmen such as Hylton Ackerman and Boeta Dippenaar get their Twenty20 seasons rolling.