Dent prepares to skipper boyhood club...

CHRIS Dent wants to eliminate fear of losing from Gloucestershire’s dressing room in his first season as captain.

The 27-year-old Bristol-born batsman admits to having thought long and hard before taking on the job of skipper in the Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup.

But, with time to adjust to the idea, Dent is now determined to make an impact at the club he has been associated with since boyhood.

“I’m slightly nervous about being captain, but still excited and pleased to have the opportunity,” he said. “It’s an honour to lead the team at the county where I have grown up.

“We started talking about the possibility a month or so ago and my first thought was to say no. But I was given time to think about it and the idea grew on me.

“I didn’t want the job for the sake of it, so had a good look at myself and what I thought I could contribute to benefit the team.”

Dent is a popular character in the Gloucestershire dressing room, but accepts that there will be times when he has to crack the whip.

“I hope my character will be good for the bunch of lads we have at the club,” he said. “The aim this summer is to be as positive as possible and not worry too much about the down days when we have them.

“It is something I have learned over the course of my career. I was terrible in that respect to start with, but now I am fairly laid-back as a person and I hope to bring that to my captaincy.

“It would be very easy to stand here and talk about winning promotion and trophies. We are trying to get away from looking at tables and setting specific targets.

“What we will attempt to do is work inside the changing room to create a better atmosphere and take away the fear of failing.

“I hope it will lead to better results. I am sure the other players respect me, but whether I have the authority to be tough when necessary is something I shall find out.”

Dent has played under a number of top captains and cites and sharing a dressing room with current New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was a particular asset.

“Captaincy can be a very difficult job and Kane is one of the best at it,” he said. “We have similar traits in being calm and relaxed in our approach. Kane doesn’t let much phase him and I am hoping to be the same.

“When you are under the pump as a team, a calm head is always better than a frustrated one. We already have a great dressing room and the winter months have been very happy and progressive. Chats among the players seem to suggest that everyone is in a good place and raring to go.”

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.