The last two weeks haven’t been particularly good for Somerset cricket. And it is not often in the last couple of years you could say that with justification. A very poor performance in the Championship at Leeds has been followed by a very disappointing start to the T20 campaign. Three defeats from the first four games leaves us needing a big turnaround to get back into contention for a quarter final place.
And I need to get a few things off my chest!
The problem with the shortest form of the game is that the margins between the best and worst sides are reduced to the point where a bad over, dropped catch or poor shot can turn a game. Somerset though have only themselves to blame and it doesn’t make nice reading.
Kent, our perennial nemesis, were allowed to recover from 7-2 to post a total that, while not over par, was higher than it should have been but Somerset’s batting against a very poor Kent bowling attack was lemming-like.
Hampshire were outplayed for over three-quarters of last Friday’s game and were well behind the rate until Jerome Taylor bowled one of those overs. There was no coming back from that.
Sussex, who from what I’ve seen look the best side in the competition were facing defeat as the Somerset run-chase progressed nicely but for some unfathomable reason the batsmen allowed the required rate to climb steadily to the point suddenly, with three overs to go, the game was gone. With wickets in hand this should never been allowed to happen.
It isn’t a talent thing and we know it is not a desire thing but something is wrong. I can only conclude that the squad is almost too good and believe that collectively they are strong enough to beat anyone. If true that mentality means that individuals are not taking personal responsibility in the belief (correctly) that others have the talent to do what is necessary.
Now that’s better!
So while it is absurd to write Somerset’s chances off in this competition with only 4 of 14 group games completed it is fair to say that they need to win, at the very least, two of their next three games. With the unsettled weather forecast and trips to Chelmsford and Southampton looming that is no easy task.
I’ll come back to this in 10 days time or so but with an Ashes series starting tomorrow I’m going to concentrate on that and just peek out from under the covers at the T20 for a few days!