Monday, June 12th, 2017

Bumpy: Important To Start Focusing On White Ball Cricket And Semi-Final

Bumpy: Important To Start Focusing On White Ball Cricket And Semi-Final

Steve Rhodes says it is important for Worcestershire Rapids players to start focusing on white ball cricket ahead of Saturday's Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final at New Road after the disappointment of the County Championship setback against Glamorgan.

The Rapids will be honing their skills during the next few days to face Yorkshire Vikings or Surrey and looking to bounce back from the nine wicket defeat against the Welsh County.

Worcestershire topped the North Group in impressive fashion with six wins and a tie from eight games.

Director Of Cricket Rhodes said: "We've got a busy week now preparing for Saturday. Will there be no negative reaction after losing a couple of games? You are bound to have a bit of negative reaction.

"We've lost a game but it's important for us now to start focusing on white ball cricket and Saturday's match.

"That's what we will try and do but you are not going to turn up feeling full of roses initially (after losing). It will take time but it (the semi-final) is nearly a week away.

"Having a few days preparation is really important because it seems a long time ago since we played 50 over cricket even though it's not.

"It will give us an opportunity to go back to that white ball preparation and try and reproduce some of the practice that we've done which has helped us in that competition with bat and ball."

Worcestershire will not know their semi-final opponents until Yorkshire and Surrey meet at Headingley tomorrow.

Rhodes said: "You might say there is an advantage in getting in a 50 over game and then going into a semi-final.

"But having said that, it could mean quite a lot of travelling for those teams as well as the game being parked on the back of four-day cricket so that is not easy preparation for them in a quarter-final."

As regards the outcome of the Glamorgan game, Rhodes said: "Momentum is a funny thing in sport and it certainly hit us there.

"We were well on top after day one and credit to Cooke and Rudolph. They wrestled it back in that first hour on day two and built on that and numbers eight, nine and ten got over 50. They were crucial runs when the ball was getting softer.

"For us, to go into that second innings with a deficit (of 114) was disappointing and if we were going to set up any score, we needed to bat the whole day of the third day.

"To do that, we needed to get over the 40 overs, over the hardness of the ball, and we failed to do that, being all out in 46 overs.

"This ball darts around, as was proved in their innings as well. It darts around for 40 overs and then once the seam starts to go soft, it gets easier.

"We failed to get through that. It was one of our objectives but credit to the opposition and a little bit of sloppy shot play means we were short of that magic figure of getting that ball soft."

Worcestershire have won four of their opening six Championship games and Rhodes said:  "We would have taken that but the reason we play the game is to win and when you don't win, we are disappointed."

One of the plus points against Glamorgan was the spell of Josh Tongue on the first day when he picked up five wickets in four overs after scoring 41.

Rhodes said: "That spell was electric, a fine spell of bowling and again though, typical of what can happen with the new ball.

"Josh is making really good strides, he batted well in the first innings as well, so he can take a lot of pride from the day."