T20 Blast bite-size preview: Surrey

England

For a side that was relegated to the second division in the longer format, Surrey boasts a very good T20 side and reached the final of last year's contest.

<b>Brief Overview:</b> For a side that was relegated to the second division in the longer format, Surrey boasts a very good T20 side and reached the final of last year's contest, where they lost to Northamptonshire after a batting collapse. They boast a top class batting order, featuring two of the best batsmen to grace the global stage, in KP and Graeme Smith.

<b>Venue:</b> Surrey are based at one of the world's premier Test venues, The Oval in south London. It's official name has changed with the sponsors, but the Oval it is, and features iconic gasometers in the background.

<b>Batsman To Watch:</b> It's hardly surprising that we're going to say Kevin Pietersen is the man to watch. He'll be available for the whole campaign, a rarity, as he no longer has England commitments, and Surrey will need him to find the form he has lost while at the IPL. The pressure won't be as great here though, given the lack of captaincy pressures and strong batting line up.

<b>Bowler To Watch:</b> As much as we like to joke about Jade Dernbach, he has been a consistent performer for Surrey and in last year's event he took 18 wickets at an average of 16, and was the fifth-best wicket-taker. Surrey will have him available more than expected now, as he's been dropped from the England side.

<b>Overseas Signings:</b> Most notable is club captain Graeme Smith, who will have more time for the county now that he's retired from Test cricket. The former South Africa skipper brings a wealth of experience to the side, though he hasn't played much T20 cricket for the Proteas in recent years. The club have also signed Ireland batsman Kevin O'Brien for the first part of the campaign.

<b>Know Your Mascot:</b> While they do not have a silly T20 name, Surrey have a mascot in Caesar the lion. He's an admirable chap, tempering his high-born royalty with humility as he ran the London Marathon recently in aid of a children's hospital.

<b>Cricket365's Prediction:</b> Losing semi-finalist.

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