Friday, May 23rd, 2014

County Chase Double As Skipper Looks For Championship Batting Improvement

County Chase Double As Skipper Looks For Championship Batting Improvement

Skipper Daryl Mitchell admits Worcestershire have to improve their batting performances in the LV = County Championship despite their flying start to the season.

Mitchell has scored three centuries and a 97 to help the county into the top two with three wins and two draws from their opening five games ahead of Sunday's clash with Kent at Tunbridge Wells.

But the honest Mitchell acknowledges that the victory this week over Essex – thanks to Saeed Ajmal's 13 wicket haul – "possibly papers over a few cracks in the batting."

Mitchell said: "If we had performed like that with the bat against a good Division One side, we would have got beat without a doubt.

"Is it about going back to the nets? I think it is more than that to be honest. We work as hard as any team, and the lads hit a lot of balls and practice a lot so that is not the reason.

"It is more of a mindset thing. It is taking that responsibility and having that desire to bat long periods of time and 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% in your head really and there is only so much that coaches, captains can tell you.

"They can get all the advice and support they want and get all the balls thrown at them they want but at some point the penny has got to drop. You've got to work it out for yourself."

Worcestershire will be looking to complete a quickfire double as they defeated Kent at New Road earlier in the campaign.

Moeen Ali will return after missing the previous two four-day games through England commitments.

He has scored 209 runs at an average of 52.25 from his first three championship appearances of 2014.