Warwickshire captain Ian Bell sees the One-Day Cup as a means to smooth over the Bears’ poor start to the season.
After making one of their worst-ever starts to a campaign in losing their first two County Championship games by an innings, the Bears escaped with a draw at home to Surrey on Monday.
Now Bell hopes the holders can build on that when their One-Day Cup defence begins at Northampton on Thursday.
“There is a lot of confidence around the squad in 50-over cricket,” he said.
“Last year we lost our first two games. But we then built momentum brilliantly.”
Bell’s former England team-mate Jonathan Trott caught fire, in particular, making centuries in successive cup games – the group-deciding victory against Yorkshire at Headingley and in the quarter-final win over Essex at Edgbaston.
Trott also made a man-of-the-match 82 not out in the final as Warwickshire beat Surrey by eight wickets.
Bell was one of the stars of the semi-final win over Somerset, making an unbeaten 94 before Jeetan Patel finished the visitors off with 5-43.
“We peaked at the right time,” said Bell, who went on to enjoy further limited-over success last winter with Big Bash winners Perth Scorchers.
“Our best performance of all came in the final at Lord’s – that was an incredible day.
“The Bears fans generated such a great atmosphere. We are very lucky that we are amazingly supported and we are going to need that support over the next year or so.
“It has been a tough start for us in the Championship, as a club and as individuals. A little bit of patience is going to be required but we have to fight. If we get knocked down, we come back harder.
“We will never give in, whatever happens. And, when results aren’t going to plan, we need our supporters to stick with us. We will get there.”
After starting the defence of their trophy at Wantage Road, the Bears then host Durham at Edgbaston on Bank Holiday Monday (1 May) before an away game against Leicestershire the following day.
“We need to start strongly as games will come thick and fast,” said Bell. “And the 50-over group stage has come early this season so it will be played in slightly different conditions.”
The Royal London One-Day Cup on the BBC
The county season moves into another phase with the next three-week period now dedicated to the One-Day Cup.
There will be extra interest with most England players involved ahead of the ODIs against Ireland and South Africa and the ICC Champions Trophy – for which the squad was announced on Tuesday.
The group stage ends on 17 May with a break before the quarter-finals on 13 June, the semi-finals on 16 and 17 June and the final scheduled for Lord’s on Saturday, 1 July.
Ball-by-ball commentary of every game can be heard live via the BBC Sport website, with extensive coverage also on 5 Live Sports Extra.