SOMERSET’S new one-day captain, Alfonso Thomas, has urged his bowlers to be brave when they bowl at the death in this season’s NatWest T20 Blast competition.

Thomas, who is considered a master in the art of death bowling, has played in some of the world’s biggest and best Twenty20 competitions, including the IPL and the Big Bash, and the South African seamer doesn’t want his side “to take soft options”

at the end of the opposition innings.

“You take it game by game, obviously based on the wickets you’ve got to play on, and it also depends on who’s batting really,”

he said.

“If you’ve got a guy who’s 80 or 90 not out, you haven’t got to try and muck around, because he’s almost earned the right, so you can’t really mess around with a whole lot of slower balls and other funky balls that you want to come out with – so you play the percentages really and that’s key.

“To me, guys don’t play the percentages enough and they take the soft options, where, for me, guys who bowl yorkers are the brave ones – guys that tend to bowl one yorker, two yorkers an over and then go slower ball or whatever it may be, to me that’s soft options and it comes down to execution and how much you’ve put in, in the nets, putting yourself under pressure.

“Because to me, if you’re nailing it every time in practice, it’s then just about how you can cope with the pressure – because you’ve done the hard work physically and then it just becomes a mind game.

“But to me, plain and simple, if you put in the practice you are going to reap the rewards.”

Thomas has played Twenty20 cricket for the Adelaide Strikers, Dhaka Gladiators and Pune Warriors and will take charge of Somerset in all one-day cricket this season.

It’s a challenge the 38-yearold is looking forward to taking on – but he insists he won’t be making wholesale changes to the way Somerset approach the shorter formats of the game.

“I don’t think I want to change too many things, but it’s going to be important to look after our youngsters,” he said.

“If you look at our record here over the past 12, 24 months, it’s probably not as good as it has been in the past – but then again we’ve been playing 40 over cricket.

“So, I think the one thing we have identified in our one-day game is to try to get our youngsters coming through, and to just try to be brave really, and obviously try to play entertaining cricket.

“Hopefully that will get the crowds in.”