SOMERSET’S new T20 captain Lewis Gregory has stressed the importance of signing top class overseas players if his side are to go one better than last year and make Finals Day.

Speaking to the County Gazette after being announced as skipper, the 25-year-old said: “We have a really exciting squad and we did brilliantly to make it as far as we did last year, effectively with no overseas player.

“If we can add two high-quality overseas players to the quality and enthusiasm we already have it will help us win tight games.

“T20 is about expressing yourself, especially at Taunton where a score of 180 is now around par.

“Fortunately, we have good characters in our side who want to be the star and go out and get big scores, have fun and be competitive, which is what this format is all about.”

The 25-year-old had a taste of the role during last season’s quarter-final defeat against Nottinghamshire, while he also picked up the reins for the County Championship victory at Yorkshire.

"It’s hugely exciting to have the chance to lead a really good squad," he said.

“I have done bits of it [captaincy] at Under-19 level and with the seconds, as well as last year, and I think it brings out the best in me.

“I believe I have the respect of the guys and I think we’re well placed to challenge - we showed last year that we were capable of beating good teams.”

“Notts were comfortably the best white ball team last year and were rightful winners. They had great depth and experience, but we are starting to get that with the amount of T20 that some of us have played.”

Gregory took on a role as a pinch-hitting opener during last season’s tournament, and hit more fours (30) than any other Somerset batsman as he set the tone at the start of the innings.

“It’s something I thoroughly enjoyed,” he said.

“We’ll have to discuss it and work out the best way to balance the team, but I would like to carry it on at some point.”

Having initially made his own impact as a youngster with the white ball, the new skipper is hoping some of the promising players in Somerset’s ranks can play a part in the shortest format this season.

“The squad is very open - we have 20 or so players and all will be fighting for a place,” he said.

“Bants [Tom Banton] had a taste of it last year, and by all accounts Fin [Trenouth] is flying at the moment. That generation have grown up with T20 and are ridiculously talented - selection is not set in stone, by any means.”

Gregory is still in the process of recovering from surgery on a back injury which prematurely ended his 2017 season, and provided an update as to his fitness.

“My body feels pretty good and recovery is going well,” he said.

“I’m back into hitting a few balls but have not really started with much running yet - I’m seeing the surgeon soon and hopefully after that things will start picking up.”