May 24 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Steven Crook says there is no danger that a difficult t20 campaign could erode Middlesex’s confidence when they return to County Championship cricket next month.
The Panthers have endured a mixed start to their Friends Life t20 South Group programme, losing at home to Surrey and Sussex before finally getting off the mark against Hampshire Hawks on Monday.
But Crook points to last season – when Middlesex performed wretchedly in the shortest form of the game but bounced back in four-day cricket – as proof that the team will not suffer if t20 results go against them.
“If you take last year as an example, we only won two games out of 16, but we still went on to win the Division Two championship and finish second in our CB40 group,” Crook told london24.com.
“So I don’t think what might happen in the t20 would necessarily have an effect. Obviously we’d like to do well in all competitions but, once the t20’s out of the way, you do tend to forget about it and move on.
“We’re playing some great cricket in the County Championship and the CB40, so when those formats come around again, we’ll be going back in with plenty of confidence.
“It’s early days in the t20 – maybe we haven’t been as ruthless as we could have been but I think now we’ve got a win on the board we can move on from there and improve.”
Middlesex return to Lord’s on Thursday to take on Essex Eagles, whose ex-Panthers batsman Owais Shah smashed an unbeaten half-century to win the corresponding t20 fixture last season.
“Shah’s certainly a key player for Essex and they’ve got a number of other destructive players, people like Ryan ten Doeschate, Graham Napier and James Franklin,” added Crook.
“They’re a good outfit, as are all the teams in our group. So we know we’ve got to put in hard work, bowl well up front and hopefully execute our skills at the end of the innings a little better.”
Following the Essex clash (6.15pm), the Panthers have away games at Sussex on Friday and Kent next Tuesday before taking on Hampshire in the return game at Richmond on Wednesday.