Will Rhodes believes Warwickshire's emphatic LV=Insurance County Championship win over Essex was "a very professional performance" and underlined the progress made by the squad in recent years.

Last April it was an excellent display in a home victory over Essex which injected belief and momentum into the Bears squad and sent out a message to their rivals that here was a team to be reckoned with.

Twelve months on, now champions, the performance was even better as a strong Essex side was beaten by ten wickets. 

“The result and performance really highlights the strides we have made in the last two years,” said captain Rhodes. “Olly Hannon-Dalby spoke really well in the dressing room after the game and said Essex at home last year was like our cup final and now to back that up with up with a performance like this is really special.

“Essex are a team that we strive to emulate and I think we have taken snippets of how they play and added them to our game.

“Our performances in both the first two games have replicated what we did last year – really good collective efforts. Michael Burgess has batted brilliantly and scored two big hundreds but there is a top six above him all ready to make big hundreds. We got a sniff of what Al Davies is about in the Essex game, the way he played in both innings and how he can adapt his game. Dom Sibley and Matt Lamb are in good form and Sam Hain and Rob Yates are brewing a good score. We are looking in good order as a top seven.”

Will Rhodes

Rhodes was equally pleased with a bowling unit which, already without the injured Olly Stone, Chris Woakes and George Garrett, lost Liam Norwell mid-match. Craig Miles came in as concussion substitute and took four important wickets to back up the attack’s leaders Olly Hannon-Dalby and Henry Brookes who have plenty of hard yards (a combined 134 overs) on good batting pitches in the first two games.

Norwell will miss the visit to Somerset, starting on Thursday, due to concussion regulations, but Aussie fast bowler Nathan McAndrew is available.

“When you get such a complete team performance as ours against Essex, it’s hard to make too many changes,” said Rhodes. “We’ll see how Craig, Henry and Olly are in the next couple of days. It was tough going for the bowlers and if we need to rest and rotate our bowlers to win games of cricket that’s what we’ll have to do.

“Nathan will come into the squad at Taunton. He has been bowling back in Australia and it’s great that he’s here now and ready to go if he is needed on Thursday.”

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