No one-day captain duties has benefitted Steven Croft, insists Lancashire coach Peter Moores

By Ross McLean

Lancashire coach Peter Moores admits his reluctance to over-burden all-rounder Steven Croft who he believes is becoming increasingly influential.

Croft has deputised for club skipper Glen Chapple during one-day matches over the last few years but has been spared captaincy duties so far this season.

And Moores points to Croft’s improved bowling, which was evident in Sunday’s victory over Surrey, is behind the decision the allow him to concentrate on playing.

“I was really pleased with Steven,” he told Lancashire’s official website. “Part of the reason why he is not captaining is that we want to keep him free.

“He is such an influential one-day player for us, he does everything, and his bowling is getting better and better.

“He has real confidence, you saw him change pace, take the pace off the ball. To the left-handers he posed real problems.

“It is a great advantage to have someone who is a top-order batsman who can bowl like that.”

Paul Horton – standing in for Simon Katich who was laid low with a back spasm – captained the Lightning to their Yorkshire Bank 40 win at the weekend.

However, Horton will be out of action for six weeks following an operation to repair a dislocated finger on his right hand.

This means the likely return of Chapple to lead the side for the limited overs clash with Hampshire Royals at the Ageas Bowl.

Lancashire’s victory over Surrey ignited their one-day campaign, while consecutive victories in the County Championship sees Lancashire lie third in the league standings.

And Moores insists the character his players have shown in recent weeks stands the Red Rose in good stead for the remainder of the season.

“It is the third time in the space of a month where we have won games we have really had no right to win in some ways,” he added.

“They are key wins for us because we had to play very good cricket to do it.

“It is really good for us to be winning when we are not playing our best cricket.

“It means when we get our purple patch then we will hopefully be winning more games without the grey hairs.”

Image courtesy of The Home of Cricket, via YouTube, with thanks

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