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More work ahead for Lancs

Posted in Domestic Cricket

Kyle Hogg

This week's game at Durham is massive and shows how strong domestic cricket is

On Monday we had our first competitive game in Holland and, although we suffered a narrow defeat, it was a good change.

You get used to a county circuit with teams and places you seem to go to every week. It was nice to jump on a flight during the English cricket season.

I have not been part of the Clydesdale Bank 40 team so far this year. With back-to-back four-day games every week at this stage of the season it is pretty impossible to be playing all forms of cricket and to be fresh for them all.

If you bowl a lot of overs in four-day cricket you need the time to recover. As a bowler it is always a lot harder to play in all three forms.

Since my last blog, Ajmal Shahzad has arrived at Old Trafford. It was a bit of a surprise. I saw what happened at Yorkshire and we have quite a few bowlers as it is, but when anyone of AJ’s calibre becomes available a county would be stupid not to let him come in.

Living in Bradford he is not that far from Manchester. He knows quite a lot of our lads and he has fitted in really well. Everyone has got on with him and he is trying his hardest which is great for the team.

In the last month I missed out on the starting XI in the championship a couple of times. For the Notts game Jimmy Anderson was back and Jimmy has got to play when he is here. I was disappointed not to play against Warwickshire, especially when Glen Chapple got injured.

Chappie does it every game, but he just keeps soldiering on and running in. No matter what injury he gets, he will still get through to the end of the day which is great to have in your team.

You want to be out there helping the team, but we all accept not everyone is going to play in every game and that is just how it is. Having the competition for places makes people perform better.

We flew in from Amsterdam yesterday morning after the Netherlands game and trained in the afternoon before an important game at Durham.

There is a lot of strategy and tactics on the day before a game. With the computer stuff that everyone has got access to now you can just type in a player’s name and have a look at how they have been bowling or batting, getting out and taking wickets. Everything is there at the click of a button.

We took positives from the draws with Warwickshire and Middlesex, but I would not say we have turned the corner because, at the end of the day, we have not won. You can play as well as you want, but if you are not turning those positions into wins then it does not really count for much.

Durham are in a pretty similar place, having struggled a bit. You are just two or three wins away from going right up the league, but if you do not perform you stay at the bottom getting draws and losses.

It is a massive game this week and it shows people how strong English domestic cricket is. There are no games any more that you look at and can guarantee who will win. That is how it should be.

In football, the Premier League has this unpredictability and that is how we want our cricket to be. You have to be on top of your game to beat the other teams.

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