T20 Blast bite-size preview: Lancashire Lightning

England

Lancashire finished second in the North Division last year – and are obviously eager to go one better this time. A testing opening fixture against the Worcestershire Rapids will surely make or break the precedent.

<b>Brief Overview:</b>Lancashire finished second in the North Division last year – and are obviously eager to go one better this time. A testing opening fixture against the Worcestershire Rapids will surely make or break the precedent – and Jos Buttler's exit will be felt. An Andrew Flintoff return might be imminent, too.

<b>Venue:</b> Overlooked as a 2015 Ashes Test host and arguably not allocated enough ODIs, Old Trafford in Manchester will want numerous sellout crowds to offer a firm slap to the face of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

<b>Batsman To Watch:</b> The inventiveness of wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler is near unrivaled. The talented right-hander's premeditated paddle is outstanding and the switch-hit is pending.

<b>Bowler To Watch:</b> England fast bowler James Anderson's domestic availability remains in the balance, but a recent recall to the ODI line-up has certain characterised the veteran's threatening penetration in limited-overs cricket.

<b>Overseas Signings:</b> Pakistan southpaw seamer Junaid Khan enjoyed a prolific stint with the Lightning in 2011 – and has been invited back to an attack otherwise lined with right-armers. And there's South African sign-off Ashwell Prince. Both will look to justify <a href='http://www.paddypower.com/bet/cricket/twenty20-cup' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>Lancashire's current odds of 14/1 on Paddy Power</b></a> to win the tournament.

<b>Know Your Mascot:</b> Lanky Giraffe is on Twitter, with a 3,000-plus following head and shoulders above the rest of the mascots. He beat Yorkshire's Max Mynah – by a considerably large margin – in a foot race a year or three ago.

<b>Cricket365's Prediction:</b> We say losing semi-finalist, but perhaps you'd like to beg to differ via some <a href='http://www.paddypower.com/bet/cricket' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>intriguing odds with Paddy Power</b></a>.

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