Rory Hamilton-Brown had to cope with this and a whole heap of other challenges on succeeding to the Surrey captaincy at the beginning of the 2010 season.
If it wasn't enough that he was given what appeared to be a poisoned chalice for one so young with only a handful of first-class matches under his belt, Hamilton-Brown also had to contend with inverse snobbery of the worst kind with barbs regularly being aimed at his name, his public school background and even scurrilous rumours that his father dropped him off by helicoptor.
So when Chris Adams went shopping at the sales and came back with a whole new team minus any opening batsmen, Hamilton-Brown could have been forgiven for accepting that his task of rejuvenating Surrey was as impossible as climbing Everest in a Hackett shirt, a pair of boating shoes and a broken oar.
But Hamilton-Brown proved to be a tougher and shrewder leader than anyone could have predicted. He took on the added responsibility of opening the batting himself and topped 1,000 runs in the Championship. Moreover, he inspired raw charges such as Tom Maynard, Jason Roy, Tim Linley and Stuart Meaker to fully demonstrate their abilities.
Surrey's charge to promotion was also made without the usual banker of runs aplenty from Mark Ramprakash. That is another string in Hamilton-Brown's bow.
The cherry on the cake was Surrey's deserved success in the Clydesdale Bank Trophy where perhaps fittingly it was the skipper's 78 off just 62 balls that saw Somerset deprived of a trophy once again.
Old Grizzly Adams reckons that Hamilton-Brown will captain England one day. We're not too sure about that, but the Surrey skipper has proved once and for all that he is a talented cricketer and a natural leader of men. He may just want to accompany Adams next time he goes shopping to ensure that he has an opening batsman at his disposal next summer.
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