T20 Blast bite-size preview: Northamptonshire Steelbacks

England

Title winners last year, the Steelbacks will want to prove they are not a one-hit wonder. With Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer at the helm in the absence of the injured Alex Wakely, the change in leadership must not affect a fluid follow-up.

<b>Brief Overview:</b> Title winners last year, the Steelbacks will want to prove they are not a one-hit wonder. With Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer at the helm in the absence of the injured Alex Wakely, the change in leadership must not affect a fluid follow-up.

<b>Venue:</b> Wantage Road, in the Abington area of Northampton, is known for favouring spinners. The County Ground hosted two 1999 World Cup matches – South Africa's victory over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh's first ever World Cup victory against eventual finalists Pakistan by 62 runs.

<b>Batsman To Watch:</b> A back injury has hampered all-rounder David Willey's season and, while he might not be able to bowl, he sports more than enough ability with the willow to be selected as a specialist batsman.

<b>Bowler To Watch:</b> Seamer Muhammad Azharullah was second to no-one in the 2013 Friends Life t20, screaming through 27 wickets in a dozen matches. The benchmark, indeed, has been set – for him and his adversaries.

<b>Overseas Signings:</b> Northants will enjoy the fruits of New Zealand, as left-arm seamer Neil Wagner and right-arm counterpart Ian Butler arrive. South African Richard Levi, too, is there and thereabouts.

<b>Know Your Mascot:</b> Steeler the Dog sports as much bark as he does bite – and has plenty of backing in the wake of a very successful T20 campaign in 2013.

<b>Cricket365's Prediction:</b> Eighth in North Division.

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