Posted in Domestic Cricket
I have had two days off after the Lancashire game so it has been nice to chill out before Wednesday when we are back at Edgbaston for fitness testing.
We have three testing sessions during the season and they are always hard. There's the bleep test, strength tests, bench presses, squats, skin fold - that sort of stuff. The skin fold is the one the lads hate the most as it tests your body fat.
It's been a weird start to the season for us. We prepared well and were looking forward to the start of the season but lost our first two games to Yorkshire and Lancashire despite playing some really good cricket. In both matches we were in winning positions but showed a lack of conviction when it came to finishing the games off.
The lads know were are a good side and are not far away from playing almost perfect cricket.
In our first game against Yorkshire we lost the toss and scored only 217 in our first innings. That's not enough but we felt we could bowl them out and we did a decent job of doing that. We batted better in the second innings but they chased 291 to win. One bad session cost us the game.
We made a perfect start against Lancashire last week. We talked before the game about hitting them hard up front whether we were batting or bowling and we did that.
After winning the toss we had them 14 for four with me taking the first three wickets. Unfortunately for us the pitch got better and Ashwell Prince and Steven Croft batted well to get them to 253. We didn't bowl poorly but would have liked them out for less than that.
Even so we were confident we could bat past them and put pressure on their batsmen in the second innings. We wanted something between 300 and 325 but managed 254 after losing wickets in clumps. That gave Lancashire a second chance to get back in the game.
In their second innings we had them 113 for six so it was a real downer when they finished on 319 after Saj [Mahmood] smashed a few at the end.
We then lost three early wickets at the end of the third day which wasn't ideal. They have a good bowling attack but we were still confident that if we knuckled down we'd get close.
It didn't happen and we were bowled out for 197. Despite the wicket being good for seamers and Lancashire having Jimmy Anderson, Saj and Glenn Chappell, we lost five wickets to a left-arm spinner on debut - Simon Kerrigan. We wanted to be positive against him as he's a young bowler, but credit to him for holding his nerve and bowling well.
It was Jimmy's first match in a while and he looked good. He's a world class bowler and someone I look up to. It was good to watch him bowl and to face him. His pace was good so England shouldn't have any worries about him before the World Twenty20. He just needs some overs under his belt.
After taking those three early wickets I was disappointed not to come back and end up with a five-for, but I am pleased with how I am bowling so far. I have seven wickets in the county championship, which isn't the worst return. I feel I am in a good rhythm and with a bit more luck I should be rewarded.
We have a break from four-day cricket with our first Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Kent on Sunday. It will be nice to forget about the championship for the time being and focus on one-day cricket.
We are looking forward to the game even though Kent are a strong side. We feel we can compete in all competitions this year.
We won Division 2 of the Pro40 last season so we know we can be successful in the 40-over format.