Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

County Chief Gives Reaction To Home Setback

County Chief Gives Reaction To Home Setback

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes has given his reaction to the six wicket defeat by Durham in the LV = County Championship at New Road.

The home side were on top when they reduced Durham to 103-9 in reply to their 323 before they recovered to 198 all out.

Worcestershire slumped to 65-6 in their second innings before Joe Leach's big hitting helped them total 192.

Durham were set a testing 318 target but, as the sun came out and the wicket flattened, a century from skipper Paul Collingwood helped secure victory for the visitors.

Question: Was that the one that got away?

Rhodes: "Well I think there's been a few this year and why is that? Is that because we are not quite recognising those key moments?

"I don't think that is because we talk about it a lot and when we get chances in the breaks we talk about it as well.

"But ultimately some credit also goes to Durham. That fightback for the 10th wicket was crucial in that match. It made them not follow on and Onions and Borthwick played magnificently well.

"We missed a chance or two in that little period but then it became tough. I mentioned last night that conditions were very different when they batted second innings.

"That overnight gloomy period when we were six wickets down was the real thing that hurt us badly as well as the weather picking up and flattening the wicket yesterday."

Question: Is that the best position you've been in to win a game apart from Somerset?

Rhodes: "I think so, a decent lead, 125 but that was cut short if it hadn't been for Joe Leach's magnificent hitting heroics yesterday morning.

"But we still had then a total we could defend but it is was very difficult. Collingwood played well, the wicket dried up and there was not a lot of seam or zip.

Question: Some of your top order batsmen are struggling a bit?

Rhodes: "We were six down in tough conditions. It wasn't easy batting but I don't think they handled it as well as they could and that is something they will be looking to improve."

Question: Will you think about making changes at Hampshire?

Rhodes said: "Yes, there could be. I've not sat down with Mitch yet but there could be some changes."

Question: Does that become a big game for you?

Rhodes: "They are all big games but we knew that when we started and we'll approach it just like every single one which is to do the right preparation and make sure we are ready for everything thrown at us.

"What we have got to do is if we manage to get them on the canvas, we've got to keep them there."

Question: It's the T20 Blast on Friday, are you going with the same team that played at Edgbaston?

Rhodes: "Again we've not selected fully the team but we will have a similar squad to what was at Edgbaston."

Question: The good thing is people in the Second Eleven are doing their best to impress?

Rhodes: "Joe Clarke did really well yesterday. He got his second double century in 2nd X1 cricket and yesterday was his 19th birthday.

"I can't remember anyone having two double centuries and he will be pushing for a spot."

Question: Ed Barnard has well as done all you could ask of him?

Rhodes: "He would have liked a few more runs yesterday, he got a 30 odd, but it will be interesting to see how he goes on with the ball down there at the moment (at Cheltenham) and another guy who is only young, 19, and pushing for a place."

Question: Are you concerned the three main seam bowlers are not getting too much of a rest in between innings?

Rhodes: "When we were lucky enough to have Tim Curtis and Graeme Hick in the side, myself, Phil Newport and Richard Illingworth we'd called it 'arse-plonking' and we'd sit on that bench outside the pavilion and watch them score runs.

"They'd take time out of the game and more importantly from a fielders and bowlers point of view, they'd have a bit of feet up time and then you are nice and fresh going into your next innings.

"At the moment w've had a couple of innings that have only lasted 40 odd overs and that is quite tough for your bowlers to back that straight back up."

Question: The same strategy worked well last year, the three seamers and a spinner?

Rhodes: "It does work. It's just been tested quite a bit this year but it's definitely something that can work."