Eye on the County Championship: Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?
Saturday 10 May 2014
One of the greatest feelings you get as a bowler is when you have a plan for how you are going to get a top batsman out and you really nail it. The sense of satisfaction is huge.
There was a great example in Warwickshire’s win against Middlesex last week, when Richard Jones got Sam Robson leg-before in the second innings. I was at mid-off, Keith Barker was at mid-on. The ball was getting old and reversing a little, and the plan was to get Robson across the crease by shaping it away a bit, over probably a two-over period, and then to bowl a big inswinging yorker.
We were talking each other through it, and Jonesy executed the plan perfectly. When the yorker came it hit Robson on the boot in front of middle and leg. If you look at the footage, you can see how much we celebrated.
To be playing Yorkshire at Headingley today, with their England players back, will be exciting. for that reason. As a bowler, you want to take on the best batsmen.
I made my Warwickshire debut at Headingley in 2011. I’d just joined on loan from Essex. I thought I’d be on trial, playing mainly in the second XI. But there were a few injuries and suddenly I was in the first team. It went very well for me: I took two wickets in the first innings, got five in the second, and we won the game.
Ours is quite a serious dressing room, but I think it has the right sort of culture. We get on really well, and in terms of wanting to win there is a real focus. Compared with the other teams I have been in, the way we think about our Championship cricket is on another level.
I’ve come into this season after missing half of last year with a stress fracture in the back. It was an injury I didn’t know I had until I tried to bowl a bouncer to Neil Dexter of Middlesex at Uxbridge last July.
I put everything into it but it hardly got up. I then found I couldn’t move sideways in the field, and the next morning I literally couldn’t get out of bed. I didn’t bowl again for six months.
I got a bit paranoid during the first game of this season when I felt a bit of pain, but it turned out it was down to some new insoles I’d put in my boots. Since I got rid of those I’ve felt like new. I’d still like to play for England. I just hope at 28 they don’t think I’m too old.
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