DIRECTOR of cricket Steve Rhodes said there are positive signs of Worcestershire Rapids overcoming early rustiness in the NatWest T20 Blast for the remainder of the competition.

Rapids suffered a second defeat when they were beaten by five wickets by Leicestershire Foxes at New Road.

Unlike the majority of other sides fully focused on T20 cricket for the past week Worcestershire had to make a quickfire switch from playing County Championship cricket against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

But Rhodes knows it is a long campaign and the Rapids can be a force to be reckoned with if and when they start firing on all cylinders.

He said: "The result was disappointing but there were some real positives about the way we played that game.

"No-one wants to start with two losses in the competition and we seem to have started a bit slow and rusty.

"But against Leicestershire I could see some good signs.

"Ben Cox played beautifully. Again the total of 148 people might say that was short but we felt like last week that if we bowled and fielded well we'd got a great chance with that score.

"The only possible thing that let us down in that fielding display was probably the seam bowlers didn't quite do themselves justice.

"I'm not too fazed by the two defeats. It's a long campaign and I can see us getting a bit better as we go along which would be exciting."

Rapids hauled themselves back into contention after Luke Ronchi and Cameron Bancroft had given Foxes a flying start to the extent that 40 runs were still needed off the last five overs.

Rhodes continued: "Of course we'd like to get a few more runs but you can win with those totals although you don't have a cushion and you need to bowl really well.

"We fielded quite well and Mitch Santner and Daryl Mitchell bowled well and put the squeeze on so there are some good signs.

"Let's hope we can really start to hit our straps which if we do we've got a really good T20 side."

Rapids were deprived of the services of experienced paceman Jack Shantry for the latter stages of the game after he was struck on the ankle when bowling by a return drive from Ronchi.

He left the field immediately and Ed Barnard completed his over.

Rhodes added: "His ankle swelled up and he went to get a precautionary X-ray but we don't anticipate a problem there. We will have a look at that."