Warwickshire First Team Coach Mark Robinson believes his side's strong performance against Durham in their opening pre-season friendly was 'great evidence' that they have taken their hard winter practice onto the Edgbaston turf.

After taking five wickets on day one with a disciplined bowling performance, the Bears followed it up 24 hours later with Will Rhodes, Matt Lamb, Sam Hain, and Adam Hose reaching half-centuries and Durham taking just one solitary wicket.

That meant a valuable 174 overs in the legs and despite calling time on day three early due to bad weather, Robinson feels his side got a lot from the contest.

“It was one of those hard decisions, but the first thing you’ve got to say it was a great wicket to play a pre-season friendly on,” said Robinson. “It was a true wicket that allowed two full days to go ahead and I think we’ve got a lot out the game.

“We maybe had a chance to get out in the afternoon but, ultimately, it was wet and the ball was going to get wet. We had to weigh up whether it’s indoor or outdoor practice. 

“I felt that due to the previous two days going so well we thought it was better to be wise and come back next week when the forecast is good to build on what we’ve done already.

“We’ve practiced well throughout the winter. We’ve had a week and a couple of days on the Colts Ground and the boys have been very good there. They’ve not whinged about whatever the conditions are, they’ve just got on with it.”

Next up is a two-day double-header with Nottinghamshire with matches taking place at Edgbaston and the Edgbaston Community Sports Ground simultaneously. 

The squad will likely be mixed and matched to continue to give opportunities for everyone in the squad. 

“The challenge is always can the players put their practice into a game because that’s why you play these matches,” the 54-year-old added.

“It has a realism about it, a consequence and it has its distractions. These games are about getting battle-hardened and that’s what we’ve done over the last two days. 

“The bowlers bowled well and they controlled the game. I thought we got better with the ball. 

“The challenge for the batters in pre-season is that they get 30s or 40s because they’re not used to concentrating for a long time.

“In winter, you generally bat indoors for half-an-hour or maybe in a block, so the lovely bit is that the batters went on. We only lost one wicket in the day and that was better than I expected.

“It was great evidence that the work they’ve been doing in the Indoor School and all the work that Frosty (Tony Frost) and Westy (Ian Westwood) have been doing is starting to pay off.”

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