DOUBLE SETBACK BUT STILL A LONG WAY TO GO
We are back in NatWest T20 Blast action at Yorkshire Vikings tomorrow night and there is no better way to try and get back on track after last week’s double disappointment than the trip to Headingley.
It’s a great place to play your cricket and there will be a big crowd on a Friday night so hopefully we can rise to the occasion and return to winning ways.
At different stages of both games we were in position to come out on top. Against Northamptonshire, we were 100-1 off 12 and only got to 156 and against Leicestershire, we should have been able to chase down 147.Ian Bell
To lose both legs of last week’s home double header was disappointing but we have to bounce back quickly because the games are coming thick and fast over the next few weeks.
At different stages of both games we were in position to come out on top. Against Northamptonshire, we were 100-1 off 12 and only got to 156 and against Leicestershire, we should have been able to chase down 147.
It’s important that we learn the game management lessons. The chances are the team which hits the most fours and sixes in a T20 game will come out on top.
But there are times when picking up singles and rotating the strike is just as important and the Leicestershire game was one such example.
Looking back at the stats, we had 10 more dot balls in our innings than they had in theirs and lost by nine runs. That, ultimately, was the difference.
Even if those 10 dots had been singles, we would have been celebrating another win.
The number of dot balls in an innings was always a key stat we looked at in my time with the Perth Scorchers last winter and it’s games like Sunday’s which shows exactly why.
In the Northamptonshire Steelbacks match, we needed to be braver in those final eight overs and push on towards 170 or 180. They only got the winning runs off the last ball so I’m fairly sure that would have been a match-winning score and it was certainly attainable.
All that said, we are not in a bad position. Two wins and two defeats from our first four games have us in the mix but there are still 10 to play.
Our aim is to peak at the right time and make sure we are in that top four at the end of the group stages. You are then only three games from winning the tournament and anything can happen.
As well as preparing for tomorrow night’s trip to Yorkshire, we have also been taking part in mid-season fitness tests. It was a challenging session but really important for the backroom team to gauge where we are both individually and as a team.
Our aim is to peak at the right time and make sure we are in that top four at the end of the group stages. You are then only three games from winning the tournament and anything can happen.Ian Bell
England’s defeat to South Africa at Trent Bridge has certainly thrown the Test series wide open.
In fairness to South Africa, they came back brilliantly from that opening defeat at Lord’s and produced a really good performance.
Given the talent in the squad, I’m sure the England batsmen will be extremely disappointed with the way they performed and inevitably there have been calls for changes.
The batsman I would like to see given a chance at the top of the order is Mark Stoneman. The Surrey batsman has really caught my eye since I’ve been back in county cricket regularly over the last 16 months and I would be surprised if he doesn’t get his chance this summer.