Circle The Wagons Then Charge

In the circumstances it seemed appropriate to use an image of Peter Trego at the top of this post. Not just because this will probably be his last time at The County Ground as a player or because as in the image Tregs was on twelfth man duty today, but because what Somerset need now is a large dose of the Trego approach to cricket. It is time to dispense with the defensive, safety-first approach that Somerset have employed in the last three games.

County Championship Division One, Taunton, August 30th to September 2nd, Day 3, Nottinghamshire 448 all out Patterson-White 101, Clarke 59, Fletcher 51, Abell 3-84 beat Somerset 107 and 181 by an innings and 160 runs

I know that is easier said than done especially without Craig and Lewis but something has to change and change quick. I have no coaching qualifications, no inside knowledge of the current dressing room but what I do have is a lifelong pride in passion for my cricket club. And what I find hardest to cope with this evening is not the defeat, or even the magnitude of the defeat but the manner of it.

Take nothing away from Nottinghamshire. As Andy Hurry said earlier this evening they outplayed us in every facet of the game – comprehensively. Notts are a very good side hard done by at the start of division one because of their two defeats against Warwickshire and as a result bringing a misleadingly paltry points haul into division one. Their seam trio of Fletcher, Paterson and Hutton were head and shoulders above Brooks, Davey and de Lange. And therein lay the problem 

But there is no sugar coating this one, I’m not even going to try. I can’t bring myself to write any detail about the day but then I’m pretty sure no one will want to read it if I did! Suffice to say that the failure to extend the first innings much beyond the first half hour of the day and put some overs into the legs of the Nottinghamshire bowlers was a portent of what was to follow. 

The first 15 minutes gave me a little optimism but it was a brief 16 minutes before Jack Leach nicked to first slip. I really feel that Jack Leach has a lot more to offer with the bat (as he showed second time around), Perhaps he doesn’t get the confidence he deserves from  from the current coaching set up?

Josh Davey falls into the same category as Leach, a technically much better batsman than his average suggests. Unfortunately he fell in much the same way as Leach caught behind 9 balls later. 

The deficit was 341. The first innings had been extended by just 34 minutes and Luke Fletcher hadn’t even had to put on his bowling boots!

Steven Mullaney unsurprisingly chose to enforce the follow on and from there the inevitable was, well, inevitable.

There is no merit in piling in and criticising. The Somerset players will be hurting this evening and so they should. But the mistakes made in selection and at the toss cannot be repeated. Azhar Ali will come in but both George Bartlett and Will Smeed should also be in the XI on Sunday. As far as the bowling is concerned the call up of Sonny Baker to England U-19s takes away an option I’d like to have considered. The aforementioned seam bowling trio need to up their game very significantly. If I were either Jason Kerr or Andy Hurry I’d be looking long and hard into the bowlers’ eyes on the coach trip north. 

Azhar Ali – Somerset need all his experience and ability
George Bartlett – Form is Temporary, his class is needed
Will Smeed – Deserves a Chance

Whichever way I look I come back to Yorkshire. Not only are they our next opponents but the featured image was taken at Headingley and, as mentioned on social media last evening, the similarities between the game against Yorkshire at Headingley in 2019 and this one are striking. That was a game lost heavily after a flawed decision to insert.

My abiding memory from that game was talking to Tom Abell after the second day’s play. The hurt and emotion the skipper felt then was exactly the same when Anthony Gibson interviewed him last evening. 

Credit to Abell for not pulling his punches last evening. He will be deeply disappointed that his side didn’t show more fight. But we could ask for none better to be at the helm at present and he deserves some credit. I’d just like to know where the batting coach is at the moment and what his thoughts are.

There really is nothing to lose now. The mood has gone from the euphoria of Thursday to the gloom of Wednesday. Me I’m off to watch the highlights of the final against Leicestershire from 20 years ago today and if that doesn’t do the trick I have the whole of the Blast quarter-final to watch back!