"Good start - must do better," is Paul Farbrace's assessment of the first half of their LV= Insurance County Championship Group 1 campaign.

At the halfway stage of the group, the Bears sit in second place, six points behind leaders Nottinghamshire, the only other team in the group to have won two games so far.

Two victories, two draws and a defeat for the Bears constitutes a solid springboard towards the business end of the group, which resumes with a visit to champions Essex next Thursday. And director of cricket Farbrace has been pleased with much of the Bears’ work – but pinpoints three key areas for improvement.

“I have really enjoyed watching some of the cricket we have played,” he said. “The pleasing thing is that everyone has contributed. Everyone has played their part and that is what you need if you are going to be a successful team.

 “We have had two excellent wins and been in strong positions at times in the two games we have drawn. We had the blip at Durham but when that happened there were no excuses, it was a case of dust yourself down and move on, which we did impressively with two players scoring centuries against Worcestershire.

“There have been a lot of good things but, having said that, there are areas for improvement. We are not scoring enough runs in the first innings, we need to be more disciplined with the ball and our fielding has to improve. There have been times when we have let teams off the hook a little bit. In all departments, we need to become more ruthless.

Paul Farbrace

“But that will come. Mark Robinson has already made a huge impact since coming in as first team coach and he has only just started. He is aware of the areas that needed improvement when he arrived and is very much on the case, along with the other coaches.

“All the coaches have been absolutely fantastic over the last two and a half months. They work exceptionally hard and are so committed to getting the very best out of this talented group of players.”

Fully exploiting the potential within each individual in the Bears’ squad is key to delivering the team success that everybody wants, says Farbrace.

“We have had two fantastic wins this season and are in a good position in the championship table, but there is so much improvement still to come from these players,” he said. “That is a very exciting position to be in – and improvement is what myself and the coaches demand from the players. It’s non-negotiable!”

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