ANDRE Russell makes his Worcestershire bow this evening as this year’s Friends Life t20 roars into action at New Road (5.30pm).
The big-hitting, fast-bowling West Indian all-rounder will be the hosts’ star attraction in tonight’s pipe-opener against Glamorgan.
However, director of cricket Steve Rhodes insists there is more to his side than their overseas recruit and has named a team packed full of versatile cricketers, with five genuine all-rounders in his 12-man squad.
“People will look at our squad and the obvious thing will be our powerful top six, but t20 is not just about getting runs,” the County chief said.
“We have tried to pick a team where we have a lot of things covered — a long batting line-up, options with the ball and good plans in place.
“That all means nothing, though, if we don’t play well out there in the middle, starting with tonight’s game against Glamorgan.
“We would obviously like to get off to a good start, but if preparation is anything to go by, then we deserve to make a good start.
“In t20, it only needs one decent partnership or a good couple of overs from one bowler to take the game away from a team.”
Rhodes added: “In Jack Shantry, we have one of the best bowlers in the competition — year on year, he is right up there near the top of the stats. That is especially impressive when you consider he does his bowling in the most awkward times of matches.
“Chris Russell has shown some really good change-ups and pace in recent games and is in good form and we also have plenty of all-rounders, as well as the two spinners.”
Worcestershire (from): Moeen, Samaraweera, Mitchell, Kervezee, A Russell, Andrew, Kapil, Cox, Choudhry, Shantry, C Russell, Leach.