Published: 6th March, 2019
Surrey T20 captain Jade Dernbach believes his side will be the most entertaining team in this year’s Vitality Blast.
Ahead of his second year as captain in the format, Dernbach has promised fans and families that a night at the Kia Oval this summer will not disappoint.
Surrey’s first of seven home matches in this year’s South Group will be against Middlesex on Tuesday 23rd July and tickets are available at an early-bird price until the 18th March.
Dernbach said: “I don’t think there’s going to be a more exciting T20 side in the country this year.
“The one word when you think about this team is ‘explosive’ whether it’s the power at the top of the order or the likes of the Currans, Clarkey, myself with some slower balls and Batts, who is still one of the best white-ball bowlers around. That’s before we’ve even mentioned the new lads; Liam Plunkett and Jordan Clark.
“Looking at our squad, I’m already excited about the first night here and we want to see as many new faces in the crowd as possible.”
Despite some memorable performances, Surrey failed to make it through the group stage of last year’s competition after losing their first two matches. Dernbach says that’s the biggest change his team can make in 2019.
“The main thing we can learn from last year is that we need to start better. It went down to the relying on other results during the last game of last year and it’s crucial to keep it in your own hands.
“If we’re honest with ourselves, last year we left three games out there which would have meant we were comfortably in the quarter-finals.”
With several sold out matches each year and more than a sixth of Vitality Blast tickets in total sold at the Kia Oval, the support inside the ground is something Dernbach will be looking to utilise this season.
“We’re so spoilt at the Kia Oval with the fact that we sell out this ground week in, week out. The atmosphere here on a T20 night is unique in this country and it always gives us a boost when we can rely on that extra support,” he stated.
“As a player, if you can’t get yourself up for playing in front of 25,000 people then you’re in the wrong game.”
As well as the backing of one of the biggest crowds in domestic cricket, Dernbach can call upon a team of highly talented individuals throughout the campaign.
Of the current squad to pick from, 15 players have had international experience including current Australia white-ball skipper Aaron Finch, who since the turn of the year has lifted the Big Bash League trophy and guided his country to their first series win in India since 2008.
Dernbach can’t wait for the big-hitting Finch to arrive in London for his fourth season with the Club.
He said: “To have someone of that ability is unbelievable. Having him at the top of the innings with our very own Jason Roy is exciting ahead of every match they play together.
“The Middlesex game last year was the perfect example in terms of the package they bring and how explosive it can be. Having him just as a player is great but the fact he’s now captained his country and won the Big Bash brings a whole new level of expertise that I can draw upon this year.”
There is also a strong contingent of Surrey Academy graduates within the current squad; 15 to be exact. Of those, both Tom and Sam Curran have showcased their talents around the world in recent months.
Tom was a key player for Sydney Sixers during their run to the Big Bash semi-finals, scoring 185 runs and taking 20 wickets and Sam will represent Kings XI Punjab in the upcoming Indian Premier League season.
“It was great to see TC go over to Australia, which is a very difficult place to go over and be successful as England have seen in recent years, and shine. He went over there on his own and he was excellent as we all knew he would be,” said Dernbach.
“With his time in Australia and Sammy’s IPL stint coming up, it’s always good to get as much from these guys as possible because they’re playing in high pressure situations against a lot of the players we face in the Vitality Blast.”