SOMERSET are being urged to channel England’s World Cup-winning attitude and “express themselves” in this year’s Vitality Blast.

Somerset go into the tournament as one of the favourites, having reached the semi-finals last year and lifted the Royal London One-Day Cup earlier this season.

T20 captain Lewis Gregory, who received his first England Test call-up yesterday, said: “There is a huge amount of confidence in the squad at the moment and we have been playing fantastic cricket for a long time.

“The Lord’s final was a fantastic day and it has driven guys on to say ‘we want more of this’.

“The squad is always trying to get better and we will only get more hungry as we move forward, win more games and fight for more competitions.

“Guys are given the freedom to go out and express themselves and I think that’s the way the game should be played.”

Somerset play their South Group opener against Glamorgan in Cardiff tonight and take on Kent in Canterbury on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.

Babar Azam is set to make his debut and Gregory is excited to link up with the Pakistan star.

“Babar looks a high quality performer,” Gregory said.

“His T20 record is phenomenal and from what we saw in the World Cup he looks a really exciting talent.

“It’s great to have him on board and hopefully he can reproduce those World Cup performances and set the County Ground and the competition alight.”

In the bowling department, Somerset welcome back Jerome Taylor as their second overseas signing but have loaned Dom Bess to Yorkshire for the first 10 group games.

“Dom is obviously really talented but we have two very, very good spinners in this format in Max and Roelof,” Gregory said.

“We felt it was best for Dom to get game-time in this format and we couldn’t guarantee him that here.

“We are backing the boys in possession to go out and do for a number of years now.

“Jerome [Taylor] was desperate to come back and play for us this year, which shows the environment we have created here.

“For him to turn down CPL cricket in his own country to come over here is really exciting for us.”

The addition of floodlights will see Somerset’s home matches start later this season, which should only add to an already strong atmosphere in Taunton.

Combined with the strength of the home team, this could make the trip a daunting one for away teams.

“It’s a tough place to come and play here – we know how to play on our surfaces in four-day and white ball cricket,” Gregory said.

“I have heard around the circuit that a lot of people don’t like coming to play here – they know they are coming for a competitive and strong battle and all the boys will be up for every game.

“We know we’ll have to strike at nine or 10 an over to be competitive and then it’s about being smart with the ball.

“We have guys who can win games of cricket on their own, which you need in T20 cricket.”

Gregory captains the team against Glamorgan, before heading off on international duty, with both overseas players Babar Azam and Jerome Taylor included in the 13-man squad.

Somerset squad to face Glamorgan

Lewis Gregory (c), Tom Abell, Babar Azam, Tom Banton, James Hildreth, Tom Lammonby, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Jerome Taylor, Peter Trego, Roelof van der Merwe, Max Waller.

Glamorgan squad to face Somerset

Colin Ingram (c), Chris Cooke, David Lloyd, Jeremy Lawlor, Owen Morgan, Billy Root, Kiran Carlson, Dan Douthwaite, Graham Wagg, Michael Hogan, Andrew Salter, Marchant de Lange, Lukas Carey