Dan Christian hopes the six-week rest he’s had leading into his stint captaining the Notts Outlaws for the NatWest T20 Blast will allow him to be at the very top of his game at Trent Bridge.
The 34-year-old had faced a punishing schedule prior to the welcome lay-off, having played for the Outlaws last summer, then gone straight into the Australian domestic season and followed that by playing in the IPL.
When skippering the side in 2016, Christian led by example with 327 runs from 11 matches at 40.87 with a strike rate of 159.51.
Ahead of tonight’s second match of the campaign at Birmingham Bears, he is confident a rest has revitalised him as he bids to follow the Club’s Royal London One-Day Cup triumph by securing more silverware.
“It’s been nice to have a little break of six weeks myself after the IPL, having gone straight through from the end of the Australian season,” said Christian. “I’m nice and rested and the niggles have gone, so I’m looking forward to getting back into it.
“All the team are confident and playing really well and there is a real hunger among the group to improve on the disappointment of last year’s semi-final defeat in the T20 Blast.
“We thought we were favourites on the day to win that competition so, having missed out, we’re pretty keen to rectify it.”
“It would be great to go into the two-week break that we have with at least one win from the two games this weekend. The break will be great for all the guys, who have been going at it non-stop for about three months now.”
Christian is already looking forward to the Outlaws beginning their home T20 campaign against Derbyshire Falcons on 21 July.
It is the first of a block of seven home matches in the North Group stages during which they will also face Northamptonshire Steelbacks (22 July), Worcestershire Rapids (26 July), Yorkshire Vikings (30 July), Durham Jets (5 August), Birmingham Bears (11 August) and Leicestershire Foxes (August 18).
The powerful all-rounder said: “Trent Bridge is a fantastic place to play and make your home ground and I enjoyed playing here last year.
“Apart from the great crowds, who really get behind us in their numbers for these matches, it’s also a really good pitch and outfield too.”
With each county permitted two overseas players in their ranks, Christian is looking forward to playing alongside Ish Sodhi, the Outlaws' import from New Zealand.
“I’ve seen a little bit when he played in the Big Bash this year with the Adelaide Strikers and he was fantastic for them, bowling really well,” he said.
“I’m sure he’ll do the same here at Notts, a bit like Imran Tahir did for us last season. He will bowl around the same type of periods during the innings and he’ll certainly be one to watch.”
The Outlaws have named an unchanged squad from their 48-run defeat at the Yorkshire Vikings last night.
Notts Outlaws squad to face Birmingham Bears (from): Steven Mullaney, Riki Wessels, Alex Hales, Harry Gurney, Luke Wood, Luke Fletcher, Samit Patel, Tom Moores, Brett Hutton, Michael Lumb, Dan Christian, Ish Sodhi, Billy Root.