Alex Gidman says Worcestershire CCC are geared up for the “business end of the first part of the season” in the LV=Insurance County Championship Group 1 campaign as he highlighted the key role played by Brett D’Oliveira in becoming an integral part of the attack.
Head Coach Gidman, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s home game with Durham, is delighted with the way D’Oliveira has provided excellent support for the four seamers with his leg spin in terms of his economy rate and picking up vital wickets.
He has also sent down more deliveries than any other member of the Worcestershire attack and allowed them to recharge their batteries.
It is a reward for the never-ending hard work he has put in to develop the bowling side of the game alongside his ability with the bat which again was evident with his fighting second innings knock at Trent Bridge and his 71 against Derbyshire.
Worcestershire are only 13 points behind leaders and reigning champions Essex as they look to emulate their performance against Derbyshire.
Gidman said: “We are at the business end of this first part of the season and the lads have fought extremely hard to get themselves in a position where they are still very much in the competition.
“From a group stage point of view, there is all to play for.
“We know we are coming up against a very good side in Durham who beat us a few weeks ago in what was a tough game of cricket.
“But the lads have proved to themselves that they are a really good team as well when they get all facets of their game together.
“They have been threatening to do that for a while and it happened last week (against Derbyshire) so they will be trying their absolute best to emulate that performance.”
On D’Oliveira’s performances, Gidman said: “Brett has been brilliant. He has played a pivotal role especially with the ball this summer so far.
“He’s had to do a lot of dirty work for the seamers, giving them the opportunity to rest, and put a huge shift in on some unrewarding wickets.
“He has worked really hard on his bowling in the winter and in between games and he is doing a really good job for us. The hard work is paying off.
“If you can do that role, pinch a few wickets and keep the lid on the scoring rate, it’s not the most glamorous of jobs but a real important role for the team.
“He has become a reliable performer in that part of the game which is a crucial part of the team.”
Worcestershire had named a 13 strong squad – the 11 who played versus Derbyshire minus Alzarri Joseph plus Gareth Roderick, Josh Tongue and Charlie Morris.
Gidman confirmed that Jack Haynes, who hit a career best 97 against Derbyshire, is a fitness doubt. He said: “Jack rolled his ankle in practice and is a doubt.”
WORCESTERSHIRE CCC (FROM)
Ben Cox (w)
Joe Leach (c)