Published: 06:00, 08 April 2021
Daniel Bell-Drummond captains Kent for the next two months but the opener is keen to make sure that his batting is not affected.
The 27-year-old brought a calming influence to the role last summer when Joe Denly and Sam Billings were absent due to injury and various international bubbles.
After replacing Denly as vice-captain, Bell-Drummond gets the lead role again this summer while Billings is at the IPL. After a lean Bob Willis Trophy campaign failed to produce a single half-century in nine attempts, Bell-Drummond has been making sure he is prepared to make a big impact.
“It’s pretty similar to most seasons from a personal point of view,” explained Bell-Drummond, who has produced big runs in pre-season. “I’m making sure my game is in the best place it can be.
“From a vice-captain point of view, I’m honoured to be given the role at the club. But having done it a bit before when Sam has been away, a lot of the stuff I know what to expect. I’ve got some good coaches and senior players around me and I’m keeping in contact with Sam abroad as well. We’ve got a plan in place and I’m looking forward to playing my role in that.
“It’s the same as every year – I want to score as many runs as possible. You have good days and bad days but I feel good.
“At the start of every season, you want to score as many runs as you can in all formats.
“We’ve got a lot of Championship cricket to start with so I’ve been very focused on that and trying to give the team a good start.
“I’m really looking forward to the year, not just from a batsman’s perspective but from the team point of view. There’s going to be a lot of competition for places which is great as an acting captain.”
Conditions will no doubt test Kent’s top order but the stand-in skipper will not use seamer-friendly pitches as an excuse.
“The conditions suggest it will be bowler friendly but that’s our job as batsmen to deal with all kinds of conditions,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge and am hoping for a couple of flat wickets in there. That’s part of your job as an opening batsman.
“It can be quite random. There’s been some flat wickets in April or May. Two years ago at Edgbaston we got 500 in our first innings so I try not to think too much about it.”
Bell-Drummond is excited by the start of the summer, especially given the long periods of inactivity experienced in the past year.
“I’ve had the least cricket in the last 12 months that I’ve ever had since being a professional cricketer so I should be ready,” he said.
“I’ve had enough time sitting on the sofa. I’m really looking forward to the summer ahead, being involved in the Hundred as well. My main priority at the moment is for our set of Championship games and doing well for Kent.”
Kent start their County Championship campaign at Northants from Thursday.