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What Heino Kuhn has made of his Kent captaincy so far

Heino Kuhn admits his spell as Kent captain has been aided by the impressive form of the county’s young prospects so far this season.

The South African has led the team for much of the campaign, having been named interim skipper in the absence of Sam Billings and Joe Denly who were away competing in the IPL.

Injuries to both, along with Denly’s England duties, have also seen Kuhn shoulder the responsibility since the pair’s return from India.

Kent vs Middlesex, Royal London One-Day Cup, 7th May 2019. Heino Kuhn (9853944)
Kent vs Middlesex, Royal London One-Day Cup, 7th May 2019. Heino Kuhn (9853944)

He said: “I’ve actually enjoyed it. It’s been tough with all the injuries we’ve had but we’ve got a good bunch of guys.

“I’ve got a lot of experience with me and a lot of guys who have been around a long time as well.

“The good thing about the young guys involved at the moment is that they’ve actually been doing really well.

“If you look at Zak Crawley, he’s been one of our best batters. Also guys like Ollie Robinson, he made a big hundred in the County Championship (against Warwickshire), so they’ve been doing really well and that’s helped a lot.”

Kent resumed their Division 1 season against Yorkshire on Tuesday after starting with a defeat to Somerset and a victory over Warwickshire.

Kuhn said: “The first game against Somerset I think we actually should have won, it was just a really good performance from (Lewis) Gregory (8-44), who on the last day just went straight through us (picking up 5-18).

“Then afterwards we managed a good win (against Warwickshire) and played some very good cricket.

“In the One-Day Cup we didn’t play our best cricket all the time but all round it’s been an up and down season so far.”

Kuhn and his team-mates went on to suffer a four-game losing streak in the Royal London One-Day Cup, in which the 35-year-old top scorer in 2018, however did demonstrate positives ahead of their return to the four-day format with wins over Surrey and Essex.

On the transition back to first-class cricket, he said: “I don’t think it’s too tough. It’s a little bit more concentration and knowing when to leave balls and when to attack.

“When batting and bowling in the nets the guys have actually been pretty well-disciplined. It’s not too tough for the guys to go back to red-ball cricket.”

Following the meeting with Yorkshire, Kuhn will welcome compatriot Wiaan Mulder as Kent’s new overseas signing and replacement for Matt Renshaw.

“I’ve actually played some cricket with him for the South Africa A side,” explained Kuhn.

“He’s a very young and exciting cricketer who has done very well in the last two years so we’re very excited to have him. He’s a very good all-rounder, he’s going to fit in well.”

Having been one of multiple notable absentees, Kuhn has recovered from the back problem that had been troubling him earlier in the season.

“I’m very excited to be fully fit again” he said. “I’m hoping to make some big 100s and help us get some wins.”

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