First-team coach Jim Troughton will be looking for a “big reaction” from Warwickshire’s players against Surrey at Edgbaston tomorrow.
The Bears have endured a torrid start to the season with successive innings defeats, away to Surrey and at home to Yorkshire, leaving them with just three points from two games.
Management and players alike are stung by the nightmare start which has come as major surprise considering the experience and proven quality within the squad.
As a coaching team, we are looking for a big reaction. We have spoken about the start we have made and aired some home truths and now we have just got to stay strong, stay together as a group and show the quality we have.Jim Troughton
But never mind past achievements, it’s only what happens against Surrey tomorrow that matters, insists Troughton.
“We know we have got loads of class and experience in the dressing-room but it doesn’t matter what has happened in the past,” the first-team coach said. “Our cricket in the first two games just hasn’t been good enough and it has come as a shock to the system because nobody expects to lose their first two games like that.
“As a coaching team, we are looking for a big reaction. We have spoken about the start we have made and aired some home truths and now we have just got to stay strong, stay together as a group and show the quality we have.
“Surrey are a strong side, as we found out two weeks ago, but really it’s all about us. It’s about what we do. We are a strong side too and, if we play like we can, we will take some beating by any opposition.”
Bowled out for 91 and 178 in successive first innings, the Bears have clear concerns about their batting and have added two batsmen to the squad. Experienced opener Ian Westwood, having played for the 2nd XI this week, is fit and available after a broken foot and young middle-order batsman Matt Lamb replaces Sam Hain in the squad.
When the teams met at The Oval in the opening round, Surrey won by an innings and one run to vindicate the pre-season predictions of many pundits that they will challenge hard for the title this season.
But they had to settle for a draw in their second match, against Lancashire at The Oval last week, when they were forced to follow on before centuries from Scott Borthwick and former Bears batsman Kumar Sangakkara took them to safety and a draw.
Above all, the Bears need to get some runs on the board. Something along the lines of the 546 they amassed against Surrey at Edgbaston in 2004 (Brad Hogg 158, Troughton 77, Ashley Giles 70, Jonathan Trott 61) would do. That total set up a seven-wicket victory and helped lay the foundation for a county championship title triumph that year.
- Ian Bell (Captain)
- Tim Ambrose (Wicket-Keeper)
- Keith Barker
- Rikki Clarke
- Oliver Hannon-Dalby
- Matt Lamb
- Alex Mellor (Wicket-Keeper)
- Jeetan Patel
- William Porterfield
- Grant Thornton
- Jonathan Trott
- Ian Westwood
- Chris Wright
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