Liam Norwell admits that he is still chipping off the rust but is very pleased to be back in Warwickshire's first team bowling unit.
And the fast bowler has paid tribute to the rest of that unit for helping him settle back into the side after an injury-troubled few months.
In the Bears’ eight-wicket Royal London Cup win over Gloucestershire at Cheltenham on Tuesday, the most eye-catching performances on paper
came from batters Dom Sibley and Rob Yates in an opening stand of 152. But in excellent batting conditions, the Bears’ bowlers did very well to restrict the home side to 264 as Craig Miles took three wickets and Olly Hannon-Dalby, Will Rhodes and Krunal Pandya two apiece.
They regular taking of wickets allowed Norwell to ease up through the gears and bowl his full allocation in a winning side.
“I’m still not quite 100 per cent but when I got it right at Cheltenham it came through nicely with good pace,” he said. “There were still rusty balls in there but, if we bowl like that as a unit, that means I can be hidden a little bit when I do have those rusty overs.
“That’s what being a team is all about and we are very lucky to have people like Olly Hannon-Dalby and Craig Miles who are very good white-ball bowlers. That means if I do have an off over or a bit of a rusty start I can pull it back. The seamers did really well on Tuesday and set it up for Krunal to come on and bowl beautifully mid-innings.
“We were pretty happy with the way we bowled. They got away a little bit in the first ten overs, but both sides said at the toss it would probably be a 300 wicket with the fast-scoring outfield and pretty flat pitch, so we did really well to keep them to what we did. Then Sibs and Yatesy batted brilliantly.”
Next up for Warwickshire is a visit to The Oval on Sunday where Surrey will be looking to bounce back from their opening defeat to Leicestershire at Guildford. The Bears will have their sights set on making it two wins from two games…and Norwell expects more hard graft for the bowlers.
“As we saw in our championship match last week, The Oval is a fast-scoring ground even in four-day cricket, so we gave got to be right on our games again as bowlers,” he said. “But if we are and show the same intent with the bat, we could go a long way in the tournament. We started with a very emphatic win and we think we have a squad that can be very competitive.”