Jimmy Adams believes he is nowhere near the finished article as a captain, even after leading Hampshire to Lord’s glory last season.
The Royals begin their defence of their 40-over title today at Essex in the rebranded Yorkshire Bank 40 competition.
But even though Adams is a trophy-winning captain and has led a side to victory on the hallowed ground, he insists he is still learning the ropes as skipper.
He said: ‘To lift a trophy at Lord’s last season was pretty special. It’s probably everyone’s ambition in the game and it was fantastic to do it.
‘But I’m still growing into the captaincy, I think.
‘It’s something that I will always have to push myself towards.
‘I’ve said before that I was a bit of a reluctant captain and a bit unsure of it all.
‘I probably question myself too much for my own good at times, whether that is captaincy, batting or anything like that.
‘The fact that we won this trophy at Lord’s last year certainly helps with the confidence and belief.
‘But I still very much feel that it’s developing and I’m learning.
‘I didn’t captain much when I was younger. I’ve always thought about the game but it’s very different when you are the one making the decisions.
‘I don’t feel it’s a burden at all.
‘It helps sharing the captaincy with Dimi (Mascarenhas) in the t20 – but there are a lot of good guys I can share the responsibilities with.
‘I tried to do everything in the first part of last year but then I realised I couldn’t do that and it wasn’t really possible.
‘But I’m in a position now where I feel I can help the club move forward.
‘If I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I am still doing the same thing in a few years, I will probably still think I am learning.’
That memorable success over Warwickshire from the final delivery of the season sealed Hampshire’s historic double to go alongside their Friends Life t20 victory.
And Hampshire have recalled one of the heroes from that day in wicketkeeper Michael Bates, who can consider himself hugely unlucky to have lost his place to Adam Wheater in the first three Championship fixtures.
Bates, however, made an impressive case for a recall with an unbeaten 179 for the seconds in their clash with Northamptonshire.
He said: ‘It’s nice to be back in the squad. I’ll prepare as if I’m playing and, if I get the nod, I’ll just try to repeat the form I showed last year and try to dominate behind the stumps.
‘Going from playing every game last year to not being involved from the start this year has been tough but I feel like I’ve taken it quite well and the runs I got proved that.
‘I think that’s the best way to go about it – to knuckle down and prove to people who might be doubting you that you can do it and do it consistently.’
Adams, meanwhile, admits there are plenty of tough decisions to be made.
He said: ‘I expect the whole squad to be involved throughout the year and across the formats.
‘I’ve been in that position and it’s tough because you feel like you are a bit out of the loop at times. But you’ve got to just keep sticking at it and waiting for your chance.’