TOM Westley believes the transition from red ball to white ball cricket has come at a good time for Essex as they turn their attentions to the Royal London One-Day Cup this weekend.

The Eagles welcome Hampshire to the Essex County Ground on Sunday (11am start) looking to build on an unbeaten start to life in County Championship Division One.

The new format means Essex will now compete in eight consecutive one-day matches before a return to four-day cricket.

And Westley is hoping to hit some quick runs after a steady start to the 2017 season.

“I think it is exciting going from playing four-day cricket to having the opportunity to score quick runs in one-day cricket,” he said.

“It has come at a nice time and we are all looking forward to it.

“It can be an up and down schedule but we have a great one-day squad and it is a good platform for us before we return to County Championship action and ahead of the T20 matches in the summer.”

And Westley tends to enjoy playing against Hampshire. With a century against them in the One-Day Cup last year, the 28-year-old has scored more runs against the Southerners than any other side in the competition.

He has scored 271 runs in four matches against them at an average of 67.75 and, while he said he was pleased with that record, he says he wants to improve on his performances in the competition from last year.

“I would love to score 67 on Sunday and I want to get as many runs as I possibly can.

“I had an OK white ball season last year but I was much better in the seasons before that so it is definitely a case of returning to that sort of form.

“If I can do that and keep scoring runs for Essex then I will be happy.”

Westley is expected to be a key figure for Essex in all three formats of the game once again this season.

While failing to score heavily against Middlesex last time out, his unbeaten 86 against Somerset saw Essex over the line and secure a first win since their promotion.

Westley was full of praise for the resilient nature of Essex’s batting against Lancashire and champions Middlesex, and says it could prove a vital component of their game as they look to be competitive on all fronts this year.

“I think it has been a positive start to this season,” said Westley, who has been playing for Essex since 2007.

“We are unbeaten and, although we haven’t played the cricket we may have liked to play at times, we have managed to get a win and two solid draws. We wanted some more bonus points from the games we have played but I think any team in the division would be pleased with our start.

“It bodes well,” he added. “(Head coach) Chris Silverwood and Tendo (captain Ryan ten Doeschate) drummed into us that it was important to show resilience in the three-match campaign before the one-day matches begin and we have done that.

“It is a testament to the coaching staff and management, that have changed a lot. It makes a huge difference and we believe we are good enough to be here.

“We may have folded in the past but we aren’t like that now and that is great news for us all.”