Michael Carberry has backed his opening partner to rediscover the batting fireworks again.
The gifted James Vince started the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition in blistering form with a majestic 129 not out in the Royals’ crushing of Essex.
But while Carberry has gone from strength to strength in the tournament with 383 runs at an average of 76.60, Vince has managed only another 52 runs in his subsequent five innings.
In fact, the 22-year-old talent has completed just one half-century in 12 innings since his efforts at Chelmsford.
But ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Durham, Carberry is certain his opening partner is set to play himself back into form.
Carberry said: ‘When I was young coming into the game, I was always taught to go back to basics when things aren’t quite going for you.
‘But it’s a tough job opening the batting in any format.
‘It’s always tricky to go straight out there and attack the new ball.
‘When things don’t go your way once or twice, you start to doubt yourself a bit.
‘I know Vincey is a pretty confident lad and he has been striking the ball beautifully in the nets.
‘So I don’t think he is very far away from doing something special. He is too good a player to good too long without making a big score.’
Hampshire made it five wins out of six with a 48-run success over Derbyshire earlier in the week.
But Durham could replace them at the top of the table with a win at Chester-le-Street.
And while the Royals earned a fine win in the reverse fixture as Carberry’s 96 saw his side chase down 242 for victory, he is wary of the threat they will pose.
Carberry said: ‘I just missed out on a hundred against them last time but it was pleasing that I was almost there until the end.
‘But Durham are a very dangerous side. They have got lots of experience and some good young talent. Ben Stokes, Scott Borthwick and Mark Stoneman have been doing pretty well this year so it will be tough.
‘It was the same at the Ageas Bowl when we had to bat well to chase down 242 so it will be vital to get the win to stay up at the top of the pack.
‘It looks like it will be a very tight group so we cannot take any game lightly.
‘You can’t really relax at any stage. A couple of bad performances and we will be right back at the bottom.
‘But we are playing well in this format. There are still a couple of areas for improvement but we are in a good place.
‘If we concentrate on what we have done well in this competition so far, we will be fine. To beat Durham on their own pitch is no easy task and they are a very well-drilled team.’
While the lower-order batsmen got their opportunity to impress against Derbyshire, the 32-year-old Carberry is keen to lead the way again.
He said: ‘It’s testament to any good one-day side that we bat all the way down.
‘We have faith in everyone’s ability.
‘My role is to do what I have been doing.
‘But if it’s not my day, I have full confidence that we have capable players who can get us a decent score.
‘There is a lot of belief in our team and I think we are getting better and better as a one-day side.’