HAMPSHIRE batsman Rilee Rossouw is considering his red-ball future after falling out of love with the format following his retirement from international cricket.

The South African is entering the last year of this contract at Hampshire having arrived in 2016 as a Kolpak signing, which forced him to forego his international ambitions.

Since moving to England, Rossouw, who never picked up a Test cap, has failed to find consistency in the Specsavers County Championship – scoring 742 runs at an average of 27.48 and has only managed one century.

Rossouw spent his winter starring for T20 franchises in Bangladesh, Pakistan and his homeland as well as the T10 competition in the UAE.

And with the carrot of playing at the highest level of the longest format of the game gone, the explosive middle-order batsman feels he no longer has the drive, especially with his lucrative limited overs career starting to take-off.

“I feel like the time in my career right now is more white-ball focused,” said Rossouw as he prepared for Hampshire's opening game of the season at home to Essex in the Specsavers County Championship tomorrow (10.30 am start).

“I'm more white-ball driven than in the past when I could still have had Test ambitions.

“I loved red-ball cricket at one stage but since I retired from international cricket maybe that desire for red-ball cricket has gone down.

“I wouldn’t say I regret giving up the potential to play Test cricket but I think that does hamper a guy’s ambition especially with the opportunities you now get with the white ball; where you can go out and earn very good money rather than playing red-ball cricket and standing for four days in the field.

“It would also open me up for even more white-ball competitions and becoming a real household name in white-ball cricket.

“The ball is in Hampshire’s court whether they carry on playing me in the Championship, my contract is still full contracted for all formats.

“The ball is in Hampshire’s court if they offer me a deal or not for next season.

“It will probably depend on what the terms might be as I am still not 100 per cent what I want to do.

“My mind is still not fully made up with what I would and wouldn’t like to do and there is still six months for me to decide whether I want to carry on or not.”

Rossouw played 51 times for his country in one-day formats before his acrimonious exit from the set-up.

The South African assistant coach at the time was Adrian Birrell, who has now taken over as Hampshire’s first team manager – having replaced Craig White over the winter.

Rossouw, who has a good relationship with the former Ireland chief, is excited to team up with Birrell again.

“It is the first time I have worked with him as a head coach so I am excited to see what he is all about,” Rossouw said.

“He brings an energy where he wants to push the guys to their best with different routines when it comes to warm ups, hitting balls in different ways and more specific fielding. He has come in with a good intensity.

“He’s a lot more talkative that Craig White. He is more social, he enjoys his talk! He talks about everything, whatever is on his mind.

“We will have to wait and see what he will change on the pitch. I don’t think we will change a hell of a lot.

“I still think the basics are there and we need to do those well if we are going to be successful.

“We will have to see if his general mindset that he has brought to Hampshire will work, but so far so good.”

Rossouw is also looking forward to teaming up with compatriot Aiden Markram, who will be Hampshire’s overseas player for the first month of the season – and is expected to be available for Friday’s Championship opener against Essex.

“Aiden coming in is good news, especially as he is yet another South African!” Rossouw joked.

“I haven’t spent much time with him on or off the field so it is exciting to find out what he is all about.

“I think he will be a very good signing and he can score plenty of runs for us.

“It is difficult to say what he will bring especially with the wickets early season but he has a good technique and he was in England last year (with Durham) so will have picked up some clues.

“All he really needs to do is score runs for us and hopefully he can bring that to the table and Hampshire will be better off with him.”