The life of an opening batsman can be challenging especially against quality bowlers in the helpful conditions often evident during the early part of the summer.
Daryl Mitchell has ‘been there, seen it, done it, got the T-shirt’ when it comes to facing – and often combating successfully – the sort of top notch attacks seen in the past two matches against Lancashire and Middlesex.
England’s number one bowler in Jimmy Anderson and a Middlesex pace line-up which contributed significantly towards winning the Division One title just over two seasons ago would test the very best.
But a splendid career average of 40 spanning more than a decade by Mitchell is only achieved when facing and conquering such challenges on a regular basis through having skill, patience and determination.
A nick of the moving new ball through to the keeper and the chance of being lbw to the delivery that nips back in are the hazards of life when going in first however sound a batsman’s technique may be.
Now, after scoring a hundred in the opening Specsavers County Championship against Leicestershire, it was unsurprising to see Mitchell respond to a mini spell when runs were hard to come by against quality bowling in typical fashion with a fighting half century against Middlesex.
Worcestershire First Team Coach Alex Gidman said: “He’s an opening batsman of high quality. If you look at Daryl’s dismissals in the last two or three games, he has had genuine dismissals by high quality bowlers.
“He would be the first to look at his dismissals. He is a very honest man and has got out in very genuine ways against high quality bowling.
“We know Mitch is very patient and he knows what he has got to do and he has shown his quality by coming through that little testing period (against Middlesex).
“I’d be more worried if he was getting out in rash ways playing rash shots but that hasn’t been the case.
“He’s a high quality pro and I’m sure he will kick on again now over the coming weeks and months.”
Gidman confirmed the first team squad would be playing in today’s Birmingham Premier League fixtures as part of their preparations for Monday’s meeting with Lancashire.