Greg Smith is determined to make the most of his opportunity at the top of the Nottinghamshire batting order and relished the chance to hit the winning runs in the season opener against former county Leicestershire, writes Dave Bracegirdle.
“It was a bit of a surreal feeling being part of a winning team back where I started my career,” he said. “But it was a special two and a half days and I really enjoyed it.”
With Steven Mullaney picking up an unfortunate injury in pre-season, Smith jumped at the chance to partner Jake Libby at the top of the order and was at the crease to get his side over the finishing line, delivering the final blow with a huge six that smashed a window in the pavilion.
Getting the season off to such a positive start has given the whole camp a huge lift and Smith admitted that the players are genuinely excited by the challenges they face.
“There’s lot of energy in the changing room and it’s a happy place to be. It’s mainly coming from Fletch (Luke Fletcher) – he’s like a kid at Christmas.
“It’s good to have the big boys there. Stuart Broad and Jimmy Pattinson led the way (at Leicester) and it’s nice to have Alex Hales back, so it’s a fun and exciting place to be.”
Smith revealed that head coach Peter Moores has emphasised the importance of making most of their downtime.
“One of the big things we are going to take this year is that when we’re on (at work) – we’re on, and when we’re off (away from the game) we’re off.
“It’s important to have a really relaxing time when we are away from each other’s company and then when we step over the boundary rope together, it is business time.”
The 28-year old also confessed that no-one in the camp is looking too far ahead, at the moment.
“I don’t think there are any huge goals in terms of points or numbers of wins,” he added. “We just want to play good cricket, enjoy each other’s success and look forward to each game. It’s an old cliché but we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves.”
Durham are up next, as stiff a challenge as Notts could expect to face at this stage of the campaign.
He added: “Without doubt Durham away is always a testing fixture, and we are well aware of that, but it’s a great part of the world to go to and we go up there with a full bag of points and with lot of confidence.”
“The guys are bowling absolutely brilliantly and if we can get our batting line-up firing and put some runs on the board then we should be a dangerous side to play against.”
Nottinghamshire will welcome Jake Ball back into their starting eleven for the match, although the ECB have turned down a request for fellow international Stuart Broad to be made available.