Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Rhodes: Important To “get Straight Back On Track”

Steve Rhodes has stressed the need for Worcestershire to “get straight back on track” after suffering a nine wicket defeat to Sussex in the Specsavers County Championship clash at New Road.

Worcestershire are still currently lying in second spot in Division Two with four matches to play, with Gloucestershire next up at home at the end of August.

But Director Of Cricket Rhodes is looking to cut out some of the “sloppy cricket” shown against Sussex and repeat the fight evident in previous Champioship matches this season.

He told BBC Hereford-Worcester’s Dave Bradley: “There were times out there when we were little bit soft and sloppy in our cricket and we probably didn’t show the best fight that we previously have shown in the championship so far this season.

“I think it is really important to get things into perspective.

“Whilst we are not taking anything away from opposition who bowled and batted really well, we do want to have an improved performance in our championship cricket next game, which is against Gloucestershire.

“We have done it before at the start of the season. We had some fantastic games and that’s the plan – to get straight back on track.

“To do that we need to cut out some of the sloppy cricket we have played. We all know in four day cricket you’ve got to get the upper hand early and keep your foot down on the throat, don’t let the opposition back in, don’t let momentum switch.

“Obviously we missed some chances, we got some wickets with no balls, things that hurt your team who end up snookered in many ways because the opposition have got a few too many and then you don’t bat as well as you can and suddenly you are following on.

“Disappointing but this team has shown a lot more fight in the past than we have done over these last four days so there is no reason why we can’t get back on track and show that same fight we showed earlier in the season.”

The County’s stand-out performer was Ed Barnard with scores of 65 not out and 46 plus four wickets in the game.

Rhodes said: “I thought he had cracking game. He was outstanding. He put his hand up about those no balls when he bowled Archer which would have made a bit of a difference but you can’t knock the way he has bowled in this game.

“His bowling was excellent and one of his best efforts so far this season in red ball cricket but then you put his scores batting together and the way he played and the way he nursed the tail, I thought he played extremely well.”

Worcestershire now return to a block of NatWest T20 Blast cricket – starting with Friday’s game at Durham – before the Gloucestershire Championship encounter.

Rhodes said: “That is the frustrations…it is easy if you get beat to say you’ve got frustrations.

“We are thinking how do we get our heads around this red ball stuff and tomorrow we’ve got a practice session.

“But hold on, we are playing three or four T20 games coming up. So what do you practice? Do you practice your red ball stuff, your white ball stuff.

“I think we’ve got to take whatever the players want in terms of practice tomorrow. Some may go red, some may go white but the important thing is the next game and that’s a white ball.”