Ravi Bopara says being Sussex captain isn’t keeping him awake at night.

He could never sleep after a game anyway!

But the Sharks skipper has revealed the challenges of taking charge in the Vitality Blast campaign.

And how he is learning how to cope with them – right or wrong.

Bopara hopes for a Hove repeat tonight as Sharks take on Gloucestershire in the South Group.

He led them to a win over Middlesex last Friday night which seemed to have established some real momentum and confidence, leaving them in a good position to push on for a top-four finish.

Rather tame away defeats have followed against previously winless Hampshire and still undefeated Surrey, with Sussex not really in either contest.

Below leaders Surrey, the group is looking as competitive as ever.

That will give Bopara and his side plenty to think about as they look for a fourth win before the competition takes a brief break.

Bopara took over leadership when Luke Wright opted to step down.

The former Essex man said: “I am enjoying it.

“It’s tough at times because I’ve got to bowl as well.

“That’s probably the toughest bit, knowing when to bring myself on and, during my over, being able to think about what’s going to happen and who is going to bowl at the other end and managing the overs.

“It can get tricky at times but I am getting used to it.

“I am building a format.”

It was noticeable Bopara did not put himself on to bowl in the opening fixture, at home to Glamorgan, until the contest was all but over.

Things have changed since then.

He said: “I think with the first two games it was probably silly of me not to come on.

“Because we had so many other bowlers and two leggies playing as well, you almost feel as a captain sometimes that you have to bowl them.

“That’s what they are in the side for.

“They don’t bat, they bowl – that’s their primary job.

“So you almost feel like you have to bowl them.

“I learned very quickly after the second game that it’s crucial for me to bowl.

“I just said I’m going to take it by the scruff of the neck and I’m going to bowl, I’m going to do it.

“If I bowl well, we will win the game.”

Bopara seeks advice from elsewhere but says, ultimately, he will make his own decision.

He said: “I speak a lot to the keeper, he’s a big one for me.

“I always consult with Luke Wright and what he thinks.

“Sometimes someone looking in can see something different.

“It’s nice to get that idea.

“I think if you are stubborn as a captain, it can be your downfall.

“You can always take suggestions off some of those boys.

“But, if those suggestions don’t sound right, you say no.

“A bit like at Somerset.

“Someone said let’s bring Finny (Steven Finn) on for the 17th over and I said no.

“That was the message.

“These two boys are top guns, (Obed) McCoy and (Tymal) Mills, and they would finish it off by the 19th.

“They would be bowled out by the 1th and we wouldn’t need that extra over and that was exactly what happened.

“But sometimes you are going to make mistakes.”

Win, lose or tie, Bopara will take tonight’s game home with him.

“Oh yes! But I always have done.

“I’ve always been someone who breaks a game down at the end in bed.

“Usually after a game I don’t sleep until about four in the morning because I’m thinking about all those little things here, there and everywhere.

“It will be a late night tonight!”

Sussex will hope Bopara has a more positive night on which to reflect than on Wednesday.

It was clear below-strength Sharks always faced a tough battle against a strong Surrey side but coach James Kirtley felt they could have made a better fist of it.

He said: “We were outplayed by a very good side, and losing three wickets in our powerplay against that sort of bowling line-up meant that we put ourselves under pressure for the rest of the game.

“We were not able to get going with the bat and, overall, we were thoroughly outplayed.”