WHILE World Cup winners James Vince and Liam Dawson will be riding the crest of a wave on their return to Hampshire, overseas signing Chris Morris will be dusting himself down after a disappointing tournament.

The Proteas were dumped out of the World Cup after losing five of their opening seven fixtures, before eventually finishing seventh in the group stage.

But Rilee Rossouw reckons his South African compatriot Morris will be able to quickly change his mentality ahead of tonight’s Vitality Blast opener against Sussex (7pm).

“The better players put things behind them more easily and forget about failures and focus what is next,” Rossouw said.

“He is a very good professional and he will definitely put the World Cup behind him before he plays here.”

All-rounder Morris, who played for Surrey in 2016, has been getting used to his surroundings at the Ageas Bowl over the past two weeks having replaced Colin Munro and Mujeeb Ur Rahman as Hampshire’s import this season.

Despite South Africa’s dismal competition, Morris enjoyed some personal success.

He was his country’s leading wicket-taker, with 13 scalps, and smashed 74 runs in four innings at an eye-watering strike-rate of 121.

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Chris Morris celebrates a wicket during the World Cup

“Morris is coming into the tournament in good form after the World Cup,” Rossouw said. “I thought he bowled really well.

“He can definitely hit a long ball and will strengthen our batting line-up immensely when he comes in at six or seven.

“I am really looking forward to seeing what he will give to Hampshire and I think the Ageas Bowl will suit him – especially his bowling.”

Like the Proteas, Hampshire are on the hunt for redemption – having endured their worst T20 season for over a decade last year.

The county only managed two wins to finish second from bottom in the South Group, with a star-studded top order failing to consistently perform.

And opener Rossouw has vowed to help Hampshire reclaim their reputation as ‘One-Day Kings’.

“Goal number one is to win a trophy but if that doesn’t happen then we want to play good cricket and see how far we can go,” Rossouw said.

“Last year was a disappointment, we underperformed.

“We are one of the better sides when it comes to white-ball cricket and how we performed last year is nowhere near how good we are as a group.

“There was also a little bit of bad luck so hopefully we can have some good luck and go a step further and reach the knockout stages.

“Last season we didn’t complement each other well enough in the top order. This time we have analysed to see where we can do better.

“This year we have a different top four and we will all sit down together to work out our plans.”

Rossouw is out of contract at the end of the season but has admitted he is locked in talks to stay at Hampshire.

“I hope to be back again next season,” he said.

“I love Hampshire and I love my cricket here and I love the south of England so hopefully I can stay here.

“We are still in talks but I think it is just dotting the ‘i’s and dotting the ‘t’s.”

There is also the allure of the Hundred next summer, with Rossouw knowing a run-heavy Blast can put him in the shop window for a lucrative deal.

“I would like to think if I do well this season I can be in with a shout for the Hundred,” Rossouw added.

“The Hundred is definitely one of my goals to be a part of next season so hopefully I can put in some good performances in the Blast and get selected.”

Rossouw will resume his opening partnership with captain James Vince, who is back after two months away with England’s World Cup squad.

Liam Dawson is also ready for his first game since May after hitting a brisk 60 in a T20 friendly against Dorset at Bashley on Wednesday night.

Gareth Berg has been left out, with new signing James Fuller one of three players expected to make their T20 debut for the county, alongside Morris and Aneurin Donald.

Kyle Abbott only played three T20 games last year but is expected to lead the attack with his former South Africa teammate.

Fuller provides a sixth bowling option with Dawson and Mason Crane providing the spin and left-armer Chris Wood more variety.

Sam Northeast has returned from England Lions duty, while Tom Alsop has recovered from the injury that kept him out of the draw against Kent.

Hampshire will be up against the world’s number one T20 bowler tonight - and old boy Reece Topley.

Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan is available for Sussex’s first ten south group games, starting at The Ageas Bowl this evening.

And Topley is set for his Sussex debut after signing for Hampshire’s south coast rivals until the end of the season, having recovered from a fifth stress fracture to his back.

Topley, who played his last game for Hampshire 13 months ago, took seven wickets in as many T20 matches for the county during his three seasons at the Ageas Bowl.

Sussex are without Australia World Cup star Alex Carey, who is playing for Australia A, as well as England hero Jofra Archer, who is rested with a side strain

Chris Jordan is also missing for the visitors with a sore knee.

HAMPSHIRE (from): Vince (c), Rossouw, Northeast, Alsop (wk), Donald, Dawson, Fuller, Morris, Wood, Abbott, Crane, McManus, Taylor, Stevenson.

SUSSEX SHARKS (from): Wright (c), Beer, Briggs, Brown (wk), Evans, Anish Kapil, Rashid Khan, Mills, Rawlins, Robinson, Salt, Thomason, Topley, Wiese