Michael Klinger embarks on his seventh season with Gloucestershire today when Glamorgan visit Cheltenham in the Vitality Blast (2.30pm start), writes Richard Latham

And, with the club’s other overseas player Andrew Tye also available, head coach Richard Dawson is optimistic about a winning start to the T20 campaign.

Klinger, who will again captain the side, warmed up for the Blast by playing in one of two 20-over second XI games against Somerset at Rockhampton yesterday.

The popular Australian, widely regarded as one of Gloucestershire’s best ever overseas signings, hit 49 off 42 balls, with seven fours, to regain his touch following a break from cricket.

“Michael rejoins us fresh mentally and physically after the off-season back home and will be as important as ever to our chances of success,” Dawson said.

“Andrew Tye has been over here for a while playing for Australia A, so he is also fit and raring to go. We know the importance of a good start because groups can be really tight and early momentum is vital.”

Gloucestershire’s already small squad has been reduced further by the hand injury suffered by Ben Charlesworth in practice last weekend.

But one player sure to come into the side is Ian Cockbain, who smashed 45 and 91 in the matches at Rockhampton, the latter score off just 53 balls, with 12 fours and two sixes.

With other proven big-hitters in Klinger, Ryan Higgins, Benny Howell and Jack Taylor, Dawson believes Gloucestershire have the firepower to beat any team in the Blast on their day.

Howell and left-arm spinner Tom Smith have proved adept at taking pace off the ball and stifling opposing batsmen in mid-innings, while Tye has the ability to rank among the best death bowlers in the competition.

“It is all about consistency,” said Dawson. “We have developed an effective way of playing T20, but you always have to be looking to improve every season.

“Other counties have the resources to make changes from their Championship line-ups, but we have to rely on many of the same players.

“What we do have is a team of experienced T20 players, who know their roles. Games tend to be decided on fine lines and we need to be winning tight contests.

“We have match-winners in our side, but we can’t rely on individuals and will need to play well as a team over the coming weeks.”

Gloucestershire start the Blast with two games at Cheltenham. Middlesex visit the College Ground next Thursday after the Specsavers County Championship clash with Worcestershire, which begins on Sunday.

Dawson expects Glamorgan to provide a stern first test.

“They are having a good season in red-ball cricket and in Colin Ingram have a very destructive batsman in one-day cricket,” he said.

“Playing T20 at Cheltenham is very different to being at Bristol. For one thing the short boundaries are square, rather than straight, and we have to adapt to that tactically.

“It makes batsmen think about which areas of the ground to target and we need to adjust our lengths when bowling, particularly at the death.”