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Saeed remedy for our batting slump
10:00am Saturday 24th May 2014 in Sport
WINNING our LV= County Championship Division Two match with Essex possibly papered over a few cracks in the batting but, to come out and fight like we did in that final innings and bowl them out for 130, was a really good effort. Thank goodness for Saeed Ajmal!
We should have been out of sight in the first innings. It was a decent pitch and we should have got to 400 from 130-1.
We should have been 400-plus which, when you have got Saeed in your team, makes it very difficult for sides batting fourth on that pitch.
To get the 90-run lead, it was important we capitalised on that and batted them out of the game and make it impossible for them.
Unfortunately, poor batting let them back in and gave them a chance, but thankfully we got over the line.
If we had performed like that with the bat against a good Division One side, we would have been beaten without a doubt.
It is about taking responsibility and having that desire to bat long periods of time, see out those tough periods and build an innings. Some of the young lads in particular have failed to do that consistently now and we need to address that.
Once you get to this level, it is 80 per cent in your head and there is only so much that coaches and captains can tell you - at some point the penny has got to drop.
You've got to work it out for yourself, otherwise these guys won't be around long enough to get to my age!
Life would have been a lot easier if we’d had 300-350 on the board as we should have done.
Sometimes, when you are out of the game at 90-7, it almost takes the pressure off the batters and they can free their arms.
That allowed (Ben) Foakes and (Matt) Salisbury to have a bit of a dart and sometimes that comes off and you can get a 70 or 80-run partnership and, all of a sudden, you are deep in trouble again. Fortunately, Saeed got the breakthrough and then got Foakes out too, which was key.
Last season, I kept talking about Alan Richardson and ran out of superlatives, but I think Saeed is going to run him close.
He is just a magician, there is no-one else in the world like him and we are very lucky to have him in our side. As a captain, it makes your life a hell of a lot easier when you've got someone like him bowling at one end.
Promotion is still a long way off, but you want to play in Division One against the best sides. You can only do that by winning cricket matches and taking it game-by-game.
We have Kent next at Tunbridge Wells, starting tomorrow (11am), and we’ll be going down there looking to get another win, simple as that.
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