Matt Lamb reckons it is great for Warwickshire to have so many players "fighting for places" in the opening weeks of the season.
Home-grown batsman Lamb staked an emphatic claim to stay in the Bears’ middle order with a superb century in the opening LV= County Championship draw against Surrey at Edgbaston.
His polished 106 was fluent and easy on the eye but, more importantly, steered his team out of trouble at 41 for four in reply to 428 for eight.
Lamb’s work, along with Sam Hain’s excellent 78, averted any prospect of the Bears starting their title defence with a defeat. It was ultimately a very solid team effort and attention now turns to the second game, at home to Essex, starting on April 21.
That could be a tough XI to pick with Alex Davies available for his debut, Liam Norwell hopefully recovered from a back spasm and Aussie fast bowler Nathan McAndrew due to arrive later this week.
“Fortunately, selection’s not up to me. We have got a strong squad with a lot of very good young players coming through to challenge for a place, but as a player you can only do your best. All the selection stuff is right out of your control. As a batsman you have just got to score as many runs as you can and force them to pick you.Matt Lamb
“There is always a lot of competition at the start of the season when you have a strong squad and all the boys are fit and champing at the bit to play. It’s great to have people fighting for places. There’s a lot of competition and that bodes well for the club.
“We all know there are people waiting in the wings and for me it is just a question of going out there and scoring as many runs as I can.”
Lamb started in fine style against Surrey with an innings that bristled with confidence and positivity.
“I was a little bit frenetic for the first ten balls but then settled down quite quickly,” he said. “I just went out there to be as positive as I can. I know that, in the past, when I have had that mindset I have got into much better positions and that has allowed me to score more freely.
“I was a bit disappointed that, at times last year, I got in but then didn’t carry on. I did a lot of the hard work then found ways of getting out, so it was a relief to get to my second hundred and hopefully there are many more to come.”
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