Rilee Rossouw: It’s good to talk! New coach boosts Hampshire energy levels ahead of Essex County Championship opener

Rilee Rossouw is excited to be linking up again with Hampshire’s new first-team manager Adrian Birrell this summer.

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 2:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 2:22 pm
Rilee Rossouw. Picture: Habibur Rahman

They have worked together before in the South African international set-up, writes Alex Smith.

Rossouw played 51 times for his country in one-day formats and Birrell was assistant coach for the nation.

Hampshire host Essex in their first County Championship match of the season which starts on Friday at 11am.

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It will be Birrell’s first competitive match in charge of the team after replacing Craig White during the winter.

Rossouw praised the energy the new coach has brought to the club ahead of the game but doesn’t expect too much to change.

The batsman said: ‘It is the first time I have worked with him as a head coach so I am excited to see what he is all about, he brings an energy where he wants to push the guys to their best with different routines when it comes to warm ups, hitting balls in different ways and more specific fielding. He has come in with a good intensity.

‘He’s a lot more talkative than Craig White. He is more social, he enjoys his talk. He talks about everything, whatever is on his mind.

‘We will have to wait and see what he will change on the pitch. I don’t think we will change a hell of a lot.

‘I still think the basics are there and we need to do those well if we are going to be successful.

‘We will have to see if his general mindset that he has brought to Hampshire will work, but so far so good.’

Rossouw is also looking forward to teaming up with compatriot Aiden Markram, who will be Hampshire’s overseas player for the first month of the season – and is expected to be available for Friday’s County Championship opener against Essex.

‘Aidan coming in is good news, especially as he is yet another South African!’ he joked.

‘I haven’t spent much time with him on or off the field so it is exciting to find out what he is all about. I think he will be a very good signing and he can score plenty of runs for us.

‘It is difficult to say what he will bring especially with the wickets early season but he has a good technique and he was in England last year (with Durham) so will have picked up some clues.

‘All he really needs to do is score runs for us and hopefully he can bring that to the table and Hampshire will be better off with him.’