Skipper James Franklin believes Middlesex can replicate their four-day form in Twenty20 and improve on a dismal recent record in the format.
In the six tournaments since they won the competition in 2008, Middlesex are the only county not to reach the knockout stage at least once.
It’s a dismal record but Franklin insists the confidence engendered by three successive Championship wins, which has taken them to the top of Division One, can give them momentum in their NatWest T20 Blast campaign, which starts against Gloucestershire at Bristol on Friday.
Franklin said: “Having not played for Middlesex before, I’m probably not the best person to ask why they have underachieved in T20 in the last few years but I know that this season we have the capability to push hard and get into the knockout phase.
“We’re going into it with a lot of confidence from our Championship results. We’ve won three in a row and the key thing is that everyone is chipping in, we are not relying on a couple of individuals. It will be the same in T20, you need everyone to contribute and I know that within the squad there is a lot of talent for us to be able to that.
“We’re hoping the form can transfer into T20. It’s a totally different style of cricket but a lot of the individuals who have done well for us in the Championship will be part of the T20 team.”
In Franklin, Middlesex have a captain with massive T20 experience. He has played for three other counties in the domestic competition as well as competing in the Indian Premier League and tournaments in his native New Zealand, Australia and the Caribbean.
The 34-year-old should reach a couple of milestones over the next few weeks as well. He has scored 3,929 runs and taken 98 wickets in the format, which has included 38 internationals for the Black Caps.
All of his former counties, Essex, Gloucestershire and Glamorgan, are also in the South Group and Franklin thinks his team will need to win at least half of their 14 ties to stand a chance of reaching the quarter finals for only the third time.
“As always the South Group is strong,” he added. “We will probably have to win eight or nine games to get through but if we can start well and then chip away over the first few rounds we can hopefully put ourselves in a good position when we get into the thick of it in June and July.
“T20 is a real momentum game. It can go both ways. If you can get a couple of wins it snowballs and breeds confidence. Guys start trusting one another with their games and you can win pretty much every time.”