Director of cricket Dougie Brown wants Warwickshire to translate the “good signs” of their first four games into a first Specsavers County Championship victory of the season against Nottinghamshire, starting tomorrow.
The Bears will visit Trent Bridge with their campaign still to escape the shackles of bad weather. After four rain-affected draws they sit fourth in Division One,13 points behind leaders Yorkshire and 12 behind second-placed Lancashire who have a game in hand.
The staccato nature of the season so far continued last week when the last two days of the home game against Somerset were washed out. So the Bears can’t wait to get in some sustained time on the field, hopefully in Nottingham, as the season prepares to get busy with other formats too with the NatWestT20Blast campaign starting next week.
“There have been some really good signs for us so far,” said Brown. “In some areas we need to improve and we have spoken about them, but in general I am happy with the way we have played. Everybody has made a contribution. Some people haven’t had the rewards in terms of stats but that will come.
“We have been playing some solid cricket. Rain has been a huge factor in a number of the draws and it is bad fortune when you get as much rain as we have had because against good teams you need four days to get a conclusion. So far, Lancashire have managed to slip the rain but we, and a number of other teams, have not.
“All we can do is stick to what we are doing. We are about to head into silly season where we play 50-overs, Twenty20 and championship cricket so it will be interesting to see how teams manage in terms of squad-depth across all three formats because that’s when it really starts to test teams.
“Part and parcel of being a decent team is you have to carry a strong squad, which we certainly do.”
Warwickshire will be forced into a change at Trent Bridge if Ian Bell does not recover from a hamstring tweak. He has a chance of being fit but, if he doesn’t make it, Laurie Evans will come into the top order and Chris Woakes will take over the captaincy against a Nottinghamshire side which has the look of potential title-challengers
“Nottinghamshire are a very good outfit,” said Brown. “They have played some interesting cricket in the first few games of the season and probably been in as many winning positions as anybody. They are a very dangerous team.
“We lost up there last year but our recent record against them is actually very good and at Trent Bridge it is excellent. But I’m not a massive one for worrying about what the opposition do. It’s more about focusing on what we are going to be doing over the four days.”
Warwickshire squad: I.Bell (Captain), T.Ambrose (Wicket-Keeper), K.Barker, V.Chopra, R.Clarke, L.Evans, S.Hain, J.Patel, B.Rankin. J.Trott, I.Westwood, C.Woakes, C.Wright.