Ripley knows Northants must be at their best to beat Foxes

David Ripley (right) is readying his Steelbacks side for the start of the T20 tournament (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
David Ripley (right) is readying his Steelbacks side for the start of the T20 tournament (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

David Ripley knows Northants will face a tough test against a Leicestershire Foxes side who have had their number at the County Ground in recent times.

The Steelbacks start their Vitality Blast campaign against the Foxes on Wednesday evening (start time 6.30pm).

And they will have to perform better than they did in the Royal London One-Day Cup meeting back in May, when Leicestershire cruised to a 72-run success.

The Foxes also won by 48 runs at the County Ground in the T20 competition last August.

And Ripley knows that they will be dangerous opponents at the Steelbacks bid to get off to a winning start.

"Leicestershire came here in the 50-over competition and beat us, and they beat us here in the T20 last year," said the Steelbacks head coach.

"They're a good side.

"In terms of how they approach T20 cricket, they are a competitive side in all formats.

"People have really invested in T20 cricket and the gaps are closing.

"It doesn't matter who you play - all of the games are going to be tough.

"We need to play our best cricket."

Northants played two practice matches against Warwickshire on Monday.

"We had one in the morning and one in the afternoon," Ripley explained.

"It's been difficult to do too much T20 stuff, having had the back-to-back games in the Championship against Gloucestershire and Glamorgan, but we're full steam ahead now looking forward to Wednesday and the start of the T20."