Mistakes can help us - Hildreth

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James Hildreth

James Hildreth admits last season's runners-up Somerset "were a bit shocked" after they convincingly lost their first two LV= County Championship Division One matches by an innings deficit

Batsman James Hildreth believes Somerset can benefit from previous experiences as the LV= County Championship Division One title race hots up.

Marcus Trescothick’s side, who were beaten to the crown by Nottinghamshire last season, have recovered from losing their opening two matches of the season to claw their way back into contention at the top of the table.

Somerset, who were also beaten in both limited-overs finals last term, have won their previous three four-day matches against Durham, Worcestershire and Sussex to move up to third in the table, just 14 points behind leaders Durham with a game in hand.

With just four games remaining, including the visit of the 2010 champions to Taunton starting tomorrow, Hildreth says his side can learn from their mistakes in previous seasons as they attempt to claim their maiden championship title.

“We have just got to stay composed, look at ourselves and take each session as it comes,” he told ecb.co.uk.

“All the cliches will come out but we know how we play good cricket and the championship games at Taunton have resulted in some victories for us or losses, so at least there are results at Taunton this season which has helped us hugely.

“Three of our last four games are at home so we are pretty confident with where we are at at the moment.”

Somerset, the bookies favourites to go one better this campaign, suffered the worst possible start to the season with crushing defeats, both by an innings, against fellow title contenders Warwickshire and Lancashire.

The 26-year-old admits his side were given the wake-up call they required to succeed in the longer format of the game this year.

“We were a bit shocked, we just got completely bombarded by Warwickshire and it hit us pretty hard and made us look at ourselves,” he said.

Marcus Trescothick

Hildreth says former England opening batsman Marcus Trescothick is "the best player in the country at the moment" after his impressive form put Somerset back in contention for a Division One title push

“We may have got a bit complacent and maybe those expectations got to a few of us. It did hit us and maybe that’s what we needed to get us back on track and playing some good cricket.

“Luckily we have forced out way back up the table.”

Hildreth has pinpointed the return of influential bowlers Alfonso Thomas and Murali Kartik as the reason for Somerset return to form in the most important part of the season.

“We obviously had a pretty poor start, losing the first couple of games,” he added.

“It seems with Thommo and Kartik coming back into the team, we have got a good balance to it now.

“We seem to be peaking at the right time and we have won our last three games which has certainly made the league more interesting now.”

Trescothick, at the top of the order, has been the major reason behind Somerset’s resurgent form.

The former England opening batsman, who failed to contribute in the defeats to Warwickshire and Lancashire, became the first player to reach 1,000 first-class runs this summer and has since gone on to plunder 1,669, including two double hundreds, at an average of 83.45.

Hildreth says Trescothick’s form is an inspiration to the rest of his team.

“His runs and consistency means he’s got to be the best player in the country at the moment, not just runs-wise but on a consistency basis,” he said.

“He seems to score runs every game and it’s a pleasure to play with him and watch him go out and bat.

“He makes it look very, very easy and long may his form continue for us.”

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