Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Opener: The Challenges For Batsmen During 2018 Campaign

Daryl Mitchell believes the 2018 campaign was one of the most challenging in recent times for batsmen in the Specsavers County Championship.

Mitchell showed his quality by hitting four hundreds and finishing as the fifth highest scorer in Division One with 957 runs at an average of 36.80.

Only Surrey skipper Rory Burns and Somerset’s James Hildreth topped the 1,000 run mark in the top flight.

But Mitchell still has that desire to keep on improving after a decade of first team action – and 2019 will be no different.

He said: “Feast or famine comes with the territory particularly in a year like this. I was slightly disappointed in that I set my stall out every year to get 1,000 runs.

“I always also want to average over 40. It’s a little bit disappointing that I didn’t quite get there but, at the same time, you look around the country and batting has been a struggle this year.

“I was leading run scorer for Worcestershire and you look around the country and some really good players have struggled this year.

“To get into that top five run-scorers, and score four hundreds, is pleasing and I got another white ball 100 as well.

“Overall I have to be satisfied but I set my standards high and always want to achieve the most I can do.

“There is still that desire to be wanting to be better – and be better next year.”

Regarding the battle for runs during 2018, Mitchell said: “I’m sure the statisticians will correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t remember seeing so many scores less than 200 in a Championship season.

“A lot of games were book-ended into the start of the season, five or six, and then another four in September.

“That is a large chunk of your of your season playing in traditionally bowler friendly conditions and particularly the start of the season was really difficult.

“I remember out of the first six games, I was out nine or 10 times playing a forward defensive shot.

“Looking back, walking off is a little bit easier to do when you feel you’ve not actually done anything wrong.

“It has either nipped away and you’ve nicked it or nipped back considerably and hit you on the pad or bowled you.

“You say ‘you know what, could I have done much better – probably not really.’ You just have to move on and when you get the chance, make a big score.”

Mitchell admitted: “My most frustrating innings was at The Oval when I got to 80 after getting on a good pitch to bat on.

“To do all the hard work and get to 80 odd and get out was my most annoying dismissal of the season if I’m perfectly honest.”