Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Rhodes Backs Players To Get To Grips With “result Pitch”

Rhodes Backs Players To Get To Grips With “result Pitch”

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes is backing his players to get to grips with what he admits is "a result pitch" in the Specsavers County Championship match with Leicestershire at the Fischer County Ground.

The County will resume tomorrow 249-8 in their first innings – 67 runs behind Leicestershire's total of 316 on a surface where the bounce is already keeping low.

Rhodes says it may have been a "little bit of a mistake" to opt to bowl first but all his thoughts are now on trying to force a win.

Joe Leach's superb morning spell of 5-17 pegged back the home side and then useful knocks from Tom Kohler-Cadmore (44), Ben Cox (49) and Matt Henry (30 not out) kept Worcestershire in contention after losing half their side for 126.

Rhodes told BBC Hereford-Worcester's Dave Bradley: "I think it has been a really interesting days cricket. There have been 14 wickets fall in the day which is a big difference to the six which fell on day one.

"There was some good counter-attacking and a fightback, a steady innings from Tom Kohler-Cadmore but Ben Cox's innings was very good and Matt Henry at the end there. The game is relatively evenly poised.

"If you go back to the toss, I think we possibly would have changed our minds and gone the other way and gone to a toss.

"That might well have been a little bit of a mistake. But having said all that, we can't think about losing. We've got to think about winning.

"To do that we've got to get somewhere near the Leicestershire total, we've got to bowl really well and catch well, and knock them off.

"That is how I'm thinking. It is a result pitch so there is every reason to think we can get back into the game and bowl them out and knock off those runs."

Rhodes added: "You saw today, it was a much more difficult wicket to bat on, hence the 14 wickets going down.

"I don't think that will change very much. I don't think it will be easy scoring runs so it is really important these last two wickets for us get as many as they can and then hope our seam attack, which is a good seam attack, can do some real damage."

Leach has now taken 19 Championship wickets this season and he repeated his achievement of five wickets in the pre-lunch session against Essex at New Road.

Rhodes said: "I thought Joe's spell was tremendous, 5-17 in eight overs. He really did hit his straps and was backed up with some terrific catching in the slips as well.

"It was a great effort by Joe and I'm really pleased for him because he had an indifferent day yesterday and in typical Joe Leach fashion he has bounced back strong."