Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Mason: Choudhry Will Have Key Role To Play In County Promotion Push

Mason: Choudhry Will Have Key Role To Play In County Promotion Push

Worcestershire bowling coach Matt Mason believes spinner Shaaiq Choudhry will play a crucial role in the finale of the season as he reflected on a "rollercoaster" opening day with Leicestershire in the LV = County Championship clash at New Road.

Choudhry made an important contribution with the bat in scoring 40 not out as the home recovered from a mid session collapse to reach 317-9 and secure three batting bonus points.

But it is with the ball that he is likely to play an even more important role once Saeed Ajmal ends his current spell at New Road and if Moeen Ali retains his England Test spot.

Mason, who is also the club's assistant coach, said: "Shaaiq has been toiling away in the second team now for some time.

"It is frustrating being a spinner at this club especially when you've got Moeen and Saeed. He will have a big role to play for us now when Saeed goes home and Moeen is in the Test side.

"He is bowling well in the Seconds, he is a big turner of the ball, so if the wickets suit him, he will play a crucial role for our push for promotion.

"His runs are also handy to lengthen our batting. He has got plenty of experience now as well so he will be relishing the chance."

Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell (90) and Richard Oliver (78) put on 163 with the former completing 1,000 Championship runs for the campaign.

But the county then lost six wickets for 63 runs before Tom Kohler-Cadmore (41) and Choudhry led a comeback in the final session.

Mason said: "It was a really strange day, a bit of a rollercoaster ride wasn't it? We had a fantastic first session. I've not seen too many sessions like that for a long time.

"The middle session was the complete opposite, it was poor really, poor dismissals, and we can't put our finger on what happened there after such a great start.

"You really want to go ahead and crush a team and finish the day 350-400 for a few down and really push on.

"But in the last session we fought back again and we'll be quite happy at the end of the day after what was a really disappointing middle session.

"What happened? We've looked at the dismissals, a couple were down to poor execution, some poor batting, there was definitely that in there.

"Nathan Buck did get the ball to reverse swing a bit. That did for Ben Cox, that ball came back. It didn't turn much. A couple of guys just played across the ball. Why? They will be the ones to tell you that, I'm not too sure.

"But after tea the guys regrouped really well. I was really pleased to see young Pepsi (Kohler-Cadmore) again dig in and with Shaaiq Choudhry coming back into the side, they held us together there and there was good entertainment from Saeed at the end.

"To get 320ish, at the end of the day, is not a bad position really."

Choudhry has scored a 150 for the Seconds this season in chasing down a total of 400 plus to beat Glamorgan at Kidderminster.

Mason said: "He is a very accomplished batsman. He's had some big runs in the Seconds this year batting at the top end.

"He's done that for us in the past and I think getting him in the side for this wicket was a good decision because it looks like it will take turn.

"It didn't spin much today, just the odd ball from Naik seemed to grip but it was slow. But I think it will be a good wicket for our guys later in the game.

"Buck is a bit skiddy. He got a few to stay down. I think it will suit our attack with Charlie Morris and Joe Leach in particular.

"If we can squeeze a few runs in the morning, that will be handy, and then put them under some pressure with the ball."