CHRIS Park believes Dorset’s call to split the captaincy between formats this summer proved to be a success.
The wicketkeeper-batsman is set to reclaim his role as on-field skipper for the rest of the summer, as the Minor Counties outfit begin their Unicorns Championship Western Division campaign.
Dorset, who had been led by off-spinner Jigar Naik in limited overs formats earlier in the season, begin a three-day battle against Wiltshire at Sherborne School on Sunday (11am).
Asked whether he felt dividing the captaincy had paid dividends, Park told the Daily Echo: “It has worked really well. Jigar and I have a good relationship from last season and the boys have been brilliant with it.
“I haven’t noticed any difference at all in how the warm-ups have been, the team talks, or how we have taken to the field.
“It’s nice to get the captaincy back but it doesn’t change anything within the side. We want to be competitive, every player knows their individual roles and hopefully we are right up for it, which I am sure we will be.
“It was nice to be a little bit on the periphery during the T20s and it was weird not keeping wicket as well.
“But I was still always there to help and offer advice, which I think you need in T20s. Jigar did a great job and it was down to him with the ball in one or two games that we did well.
“I am looking forward to captaining again and hopefully we can get a victory in the three days.”
Josh Digby has been forced to pull out of Dorset’s original line-up, meaning Scott Currie has been drafted in to play as a batsman. Park is set to reclaim the gloves from Ed Ellis.
Dorset finished third in the division last season with three wins and a draw from their six Championship fixtures.
“As a captain I get more reward from winning a tactical battle over three days,” added Park.
“You can work out a batsman and set up plans, whether that is short-pitched bowling or having close fielders on spinning pitches, it’s more of a tactical game.
“I hope we can make the dramatic change from T20 to bat for 90 overs in the first innings, which is crucial.
“It’s a test of everything from fitness to mental concentration, as well as your technical ability. Three-day cricket is tough and we are looking forward to a tough game against Wiltshire.
“This season we have six very difficult fixtures. It will be a real test of where we are as a side within our development. I am quietly optimistic but we need to be right up for it.”
Visitors Wiltshire finished second from bottom of the pile last season, losing on four occasions.
Dorset (from): Arnold, Eckland, Webb, Ellis, S Currie, Park, McCoy, Wolstenholme, Naik, Hayman, B Currie, Fisher.
Source : BournemouthEcho