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Josh Cobb said he is “honoured” to be Leicestershire’s one-day skipper and is delighted to be working as Ramnaresh Sarwan’s vice captain in four-day cricket.
Sarwan was unveiled as the Club’s new LV=CC captain in the middle of December and he replaces Matthew Hoggard, who led the team to FL t20 glory as part of his three-year tenure in charge.
Cobb, who flew out to take part in the Bangladesh Premier League over the weekend, said both players have been a huge influence in his career and he is looking forward to the added responsibility in 2013.
He said: “Even before during the CB40 games when Hoggy first spoke to me about the captaincy, he was brilliant on the field and helped me out no end. He was always there for me to talk to.
“Ronnie was the same; they were both really good foils to work with. I can’t thank them enough for helping me ease into the role. It is always good to have experience around to help you out when you are in a difficult situation. At the same time I had my own ideas as well, so that was something a bit different and a bit fresh.”
Cobb has come a long way since making his first-class debut for the Club in 2007. The batsman went on to make a maiden century at the highest level against Middlesex at Lord’s the following summer.
The innings of 148* showed a high level of maturity and composure and Cobb speaks about the game with intelligence and passion. Since his bow, Cobb has gone from strength-to-strength and learnt a lot about his game. He is a relaxed but focussed young man.
Cobb has become well-known for one-day power hitting but has adapted well to construct patient innings in the longer format. His batting is well-rounded while Cobb’s off-breaks and razor sharp fielding make him a three-dimensional cricketer.
From being named man-of-the-match in the FL t20 Final win against Somerset thanks to his superb spell of 4-22 to nailing down a place in the middle order in the Championship with his aesthetic batsmanship, Cobb has become a key figure at Grace Road.
Cobb took over the reins of the Leicestershire Foxes CB40 side following the FL t20 exit in 2012 and he will lead the team in one-day cricket again in 2013. Cobb said he was honoured to be named as leader and said he wants the team to continue the fearless approach they adopted last season.
“It was a great experience and a real honour to take on the one-day captaincy,” he said. “Fortunately for me, it was a lot easier by the fact that we didn’t lose any games! There will be tougher times to come but hopefully also some enjoyable times too with a young squad. We will have lots of energy and are looking to pick up where we left off last year.
“Winning makes the job a lot easier but from my point of view, we have a young side and I don’t want to put too many reins on them. I want them to learn from any errors they make pretty quickly but enjoy it and express themselves.
“I want a lot of energy and teamwork; when we beat Worcestershire down here last season the team spirit was amazing. If we can carry that forward with a young side then we can go places this year.”
Cobb is also looking forward to working alongside Sarwan in four-day cricket. Cobb enjoyed leading Leicestershire in two LV=CC games in 2012 and the duo formed a rapport both on and off the field after finding themselves in a testing situation in their first partnership in the middle!
He said: “Being captain in four-day cricket is different and we had two draws in the games I was captain in at Northants and Gloucestershire. We came pretty close at Gloucestershire with them blocking out the last two overs to draw in the end with eight wickets down. I enjoyed the whole captaincy side of things.
“I actually broke my finger during the Gloucestershire game with about two sessions left but things were so intense that I didn’t want to go off and hand it over to someone who hadn’t been involved in the whole game. So I stayed on and had to hide in the field a little bit!
“There was a lot going on with bowling changes and fielding changes, Claude and Robbie Joseph then picked up wickets and they lost six wickets for around 30 runs after looking in control of the game. It was quite disappointing in the end not to get the win.
“Ronnie was really good with me. He was a little bit shocked at first as we were not many for three in the first game of the season against Glamorgan and I came in and played a few shots! He didn’t really know what was going on but he learnt how I go about the game and how I like to stay calm.
“He talked to me about playing with intensity and playing on instinct. Ronnie taught me that I don’t need to go looking for my shots; that I should go on instinct and let it all happen. He tried to drill that home with me from the other end and it worked a treat.”