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Kent cricket head coach Jimmy Adams laughs off suggestion that vice-captain and opener Sam Northeast should be dropped

By Alex Hoad

Jimmy Adams has given his backing to under-fire Kent opener Sam Northeast, laughing off any suggestion the club’s new vice-captain should be dropped.

The 24-year-old – named as vice-captain when Rob Key returned to the helm late last year – hit a century in a pre-season warm-up against Essex and 33 in the First Class clash with Loughborough MCCU.

Sam Northeast. Picture: Chris Davey

However, in the opening four innings of the LV= County Championship Division 2 season Northeast averages just nine and departed for a third-ball duck in the second innings at Worcester, before a golden duck on the final afternoon against Leicestershire.

But, Adams insisted: “Sam was hitting the ball very well, had a good pre-season, scored a hundred at Essex, got a start in the university game and we’ll back him to come good.

“Sending him to the 2nd XI is definitely not on the cards.”

He added: “Every case is unique and I don’t want to sound blase, but two games into a season – for someone who in my opinion and that of the decision-makers in the team was one of our in-form players coming out of pre-season – it is not something we’re thinking about.”

Spinner Adam Riley, chosen ahead of James Tredwell for the draw against Leicestershire, is set to keep his place for the visit of Surrey to Canterbury, starting on Sunday.

Adams added: “He gives the impression he belongs on the First Class stage.”

Callum Haggett (side) and Mark Davies (bicep) remain out, but David Griffiths and Alex Blake should be fit and available for selection.

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