Durston revels in Derbyshire rivalries
Wes Durston believes a culture of internal competition has played a key role in Derbyshire’s impressive start to the LV= County Championship season.
Despite being unfancied by many observers before the season, head coach Karl Krikken’s men have turned out to be the surprise pacesetters in Division Two with four wins and just a solitary defeat in their opening nine games.
Derbyshire’s batsmen have set the tone, with Durston, captain Wayne Marsden, opener Martin Guptill and Dan Redfern all helping themselves to a pair of first-class centuries.
“The four of us have put pressure on each other to be the guy that’s leading the stats,” Durston told ecb.co.uk.
“Obviously we all want to be leading at the end of the season, but each week we break it down and see who’s got the most runs, who’s got the best average and I think that competitive rivalry is a healthy thing.
“The guys feed off it. We all want to be the one at the top but equally we all want each other to do well because it helps the team.”
Similarly, a rampant seam trio of Tim Groenewald, Jonathan Clare and Tony Palladino have been ably supported by David Wainwright - the off-spinner who, with 27 wickets to his name, looks ever more a shrewd summer acquisition from Yorkshire.
“Those four guys have been the mainstay with the bowling attack,” said Durston. “Other guys have chipped in, but those four have been the guys that have bowled the most overs.
“Wainers has come from Yorkshire this year. It was our only main signing and he’s been a revelation really because he’s allowed the other three seamers to rest and rotate and he’s often had to bowl tightly, holding up an end.
“But when it’s been his day and the wickets are spinning he’s proved a match-winner at the same time.
“So those four have got a good friendly rivalry going with the wicket taking but they are very, very honest tryers and they’re working hard as a group as well.”
Durston was recently granted the honour of receiving his county cap and is not about to rest on his laurels following an impressive personal start to the campaign.
He added: “I made 60 against Gloucestershire in a tame draw, but it was exactly what I needed because I then followed it up with a hundred in the one-day game and a hundred in the championship.
“That gave me even more confidence to go on and I just want to stay in form and stay in that bubble.
“Centuries are great, I always look forward to those days, but I want to be more consistent and I’m still striving for that.”