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Matt Lamb describes his emergence into Warwickshire’s first team last season as “great experience”, but the 21-year-old is ready for some hard yards in the Indoor Centre at Edgbaston this winter to leave him well-placed to contribute more next season – with bat and ball.

A product of the Bears’ academy, Wolverhampton-born Lamb played seven championship matches last season, scoring 329 runs at 23.50. He did not look out of place in first-class cricket and invariably got a start to innings but too often did not go on to build a big score. In seven successive innings he reached 20, but got to 40 in only one of them.

His medium-pace bowling, meanwhile, was lightly used (20-4-66-3) but has the potential to be a useful dimension to the attack – and will be getting some serious attention this winter.

“Hopefully I’ll go to Australia after Christmas but for the next three months I’ll stay at Edgbaston and do some considerable work on my bowling – that’s a big priority for me,” Lamb said. “I want to develop from a part-time bowler to a genuine fourth seamer. If you bat and bowl to a reasonable level it gives you a better opportunity in all forms of the game so I’m going to work really hard on my white-ball bowling and hopefully play all three formats next year.

“Last season was great experience for me. It was a bit of a step up but thoroughly enjoyable. In the first year of my contract I thought I’d just try to establish myself in the second team but I scored a few runs in mid-season and got into the first team for the back end. I got a lot of starts and the big thing now is to kick on next year and convert those 20s and 30s into 100s.

This year I made a conscious effort to play the way I’ve played all my life. And it worked. I’ve felt comfortable at the crease.

Matt Lamb

“I’d also love to play some T20 and 50-over cricket. I played a couple of 50-over games and didn’t do as well as I’d have liked but I’d really like to break into that white-ball side as I’m a naturally aggressive batsman.”

During a difficult championship season for the team, Lamb impressed with his technique and composure at the crease as he settled into the senior side. His championship debut, late the previous season, arrived in tough conditions on a turning wicket at Taunton but the more he played in 2017 the more he learned about handling first-class cricket.

“Coming in my for my first game of the season, against Middlesex at Edgbaston, I was coming off my debut at Taunton the previous year which didn’t go too well,” he said. “So I made a big effort to play the way I wanted. In that game at Taunton it wasn’t the easiest pitch to make a debut on but the disappointing thing was I went away from my game plan. So this year I made a conscious effort to play the way I’ve played all my life. And it worked. I’ve felt comfortable at the crease.

“You just have to do the same mental preparations whether it’s 2nd XI or 1st. You do the same pre-ball routine as a batter and just transfer it and be consistent. There’s a bit more pressure in first-team cricket but you stick to that preparation and whatever will be will be.

“I’m really looking forward to next season. With the players we have there is no reason why we can’t come straight back up in the championship. This was a difficult year and a lot of people talk about momentum and when you lose it can be quite hard to get out of that losing cycle. But next year as soon as we put a couple of wins together that momentum will be back on our side.”