kevin sharp believes selecting worcestershire’s front-line batsmen for last week’s second eleven trophy match with warwickshire at New Road was a key factor in them regaining form and confidence.
five of the top six who played in the home specsavers county championship setback against nottinghamshire all featured with daryl mitchell scoring a hundred and brett d’oliveira a half century.
it meant they went into the championship match with surrey at the kia oval with some runs and time in the middle under their belts and responded with the county’s highest ever score on the ground – 526.
head coach sharp said: “when i look back, i think what we did by playing all the batters in the second eleven game against warwickshire here last tuesday has actually paid dividends.
“it gave them some time at the crease, hitting bat on ball, and they’ve gone out at the oval and played with some purpose and intent which was the one thing that disappointed me a bit in the game against notts.
“it just looked like they lacked a bit of confidence after having a couple of difficult pitches to play on. they bounced back and dolly looked like his normal self again. all he needs now is three or four hours at the crease.
“with the way things went in practice as well, i really feel quietly confident now that the batsmen are overcoming some of those difficult hurdles that they had early on.
“i would also hope the pitches are going to become a little bit more batter friendly as the season develops.”
sharp was delighted with the overall performance at the kia oval in out-scoring surrey by 11 points to nine before the two teams shook hands after a hard fought draw.
he said: “after a difficult three weeks, to perform like we did at the oval was sensational really.
“the lads have worked so hard without the rewards and the way they managed to perform, the way they stuck to their task and showed such resilience and spirit was just what we would expect from a worcestershire team.
“they did it pretty much for session after session during the game and we put ourselves in a position on the last day where we were able to put them under some pressure. we’ve got to be really happy with what we saw down there.
“we managed to pick up the momentum in the middle of the innings which helped us push to get to 350 for that fourth batting point.
“the wicket did a little bit the first session and leachy (joe leach) was particularly unlucky in beating the ball so many times when on another day he would have got a couple of nicks.
“the pitch was probably drier than they might normally prepare. there was a lot of grass on it and it probably didn’t have the pace i’ve seen over the years. it was a slowish wicket. i always remembered the oval for pace and bounce.
“but overall it was so encouraging on such a flat pitch, that the bowlers just kept coming and coming.”