Ripley backing batting big guns to fire as Steelbacks head to Derby
David Ripley is backing the Steelbacks' batting big guns to start firing and help turn the team's Vitality T20 Blast fortunes around.
With skipper Josh Cobb sidelined for up to three weeks with a hamstring injury, even more responsibility falls on proven performers Richard Levi and Adam Rossington to produce the batting goods at the top of the order.
But things haven't gone to plan so far.
The pair have struggled badly, with Levi scoring just 16 runs in his three innings, and Rossington 44 in his, although he has shown glimpses of what he is capable of with a couple of quickfire 20s.
But dashing little cameos are no good to the Steelbacks as they bid to call a halt to a run of three straight defeats when they head to Derbyshire Falcons on Thursday night (start 7pm).
And Ripley has total faith that proven performers Levi and Rossington will both step up.
"It is something we have talked about with Adam for a while, and I think he is a really destructive player at the top of the order," said the head coach.
"We have talked together about him scoring more 50s and 60s, rather than 20s and 30s.
"He knows that, and he is trying his best to improve on that.
"As for Rich, I feel for him because coming into the competition he was hitting the ball as well as I have ever seen him hit it.
"In every second team game he was being destructive, he played brilliantly against a full-strength Bears in the warm-up game at Edgbaston.
"So I feel that he is not far away from putting somebody under the pump."
Levi's season started in the worst possible way as he was out first ball against Worcestershire, with a crunching square drive being caught at point, and Ripley feels the South African's luck will change.
"The first game he hits that ball like a tracer," he said.
"On another day it misses the fielder by a yard and he would have been away, but he is hitting the ball well and that is all he can do.
"We have to try and keep reminding him that he is hitting the ball well, he has a good record in T20 cricket, and certainly if Richard Levi comes off for us we tend to win more than we lose because of the rate he scores at."