Hallelujah Hopefully

Warwickshire, as if we need reminding are the County Champions, after Somerset's capitualtion on the final day of the season. If there wasn't enough motivation for a Somerset side to end a seven game losing streak there is perhaps a point to prove?

County Championship Division One, Somerset v Warwickshire, The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, April 28th to May 1st 2022 

Want some Wednesday afternoon good news? Those of you who listened to Monday’s Somerset Podcast will know that I wasn’t alone in fearing the worst in terms of injuries to our pace attack. But the announcement of the squad earlier this afternoon is either a very cunning poker trick or something very positive.

Jason Kerr’s 14 man squad for tomorrow is: Tom Abell (c), Tom Banton, Jack Brooks, Josh Davey, Steve Davies, Ben Green, Lewis Gregory, James Hildreth, Tom Lammonby, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Matt Renshaw, Peter Siddle and Roelof van der Merwe.

If Craig, Josh and Lewis are fit you’d expect Ben Green, Roelof and Jack Brooks to miss out (Gregory replacing Brooks from last week’s Oval lineup.

A fit and firing Josh and Lewis is an enticing prospect

Normally I like to look at the opposition but I’m going to make an exception this week. For me the next four days are very egocentric in the form of the surface at the Cooper Associates County Ground and Somerset performance on whatever surface we get.

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago the time has come for us to see some good cricket pitches for Championship games. If we can field an attack of Overton, Siddle, Gregory, Davey and Leach we have to back them to out-bowl the opposition but also give the batsmen the opportunity to make a score that gives the bowlers something to bowl at.

Given Jason Kerr’s comments on Sunday evening you suspect that there are a couple of the Somerset batsmen that are facing a final chance. While a failure here might not mean getting omitted for the next game (anyone can get a good ball early on) any repeat of the all too many soft dismissals we have seen this season might mean that when we set off for Bristol in a fortnight one or two changes in the batting line up might have taken place.

A former Somerset and England opener (Fortunately not Marcus) called me delusional earlier in the week for my assertion that this is one of the most talented Somerset squads in my lifetime. Those of you who know me will understand that there has been a fair bit of introversion since I saw that, but do you know what I stand by that comment (and will be saying why in the near future). But it really is time for the side selected tomorrow to put in a performance.

If they do I truly believe Somerset can end this shocking seven-game run in the best way with a win. This is not in any way to disrespect the reigning champions, a side who appear to me to have the happy knack of the sum being greater than the sum of the parts. Coming off the back of a very good win against Essex last week they will be optimistic of inflicting further pain on West County cricket. But as we all know cricket can be the most pernicious beast.

County Cricket at Taunton is in itself a wonderful thing. With the club having designated this game NHS Celebration Day offering free entry to NHS staff from across the South West let’s hope that the home side’s performance brings a smile to those who we all so much to.