Friday, 30 April 2010

Take note Rory - Shaun Udal's post-match appraisals

I am not going to dwell on the fact that Middlesex have made the worst start to a County Championship season in their history with four consecutive losses, because lets face it, we've not been much better.  They're too good a side to be losing like they have been - Strauss has played every game, Malan is a real talent, and their seam attack of O'Brien, Finn and Murtagh, plus that chap Berg and the spin of Udal is a very handy bowling attack.

Anyway, that's not what I want to talk about, I want to highlight the response of their skipper Shaun Udal, to their heavy and dispriting defeat to Gloucestershire at Lord's today, it was thus:

"We are not staying in games for long enough, we are always chasing our tails. On the batting, I would expect more from our big players - Andrew Strauss, Scott Newman, Owais Shah and Dawid Malan are as good a top four as anyone in the division - but they are not performing. To be three or four down for not many isn't good enough."

Shaun Udal: Forthright

Well bloody said, your side has performed substantially below par so why be shy about coming out to the media and saying so?  Too often Surrey skippers and coaches have emerged after yet another humiliating defeat and trotted out the 'we're a young side in development' excuse.  Well why didn't Udal use the same excuse?  In Malan, Robson, Simpson, Evans and Finn he has five first teamers who are 22 or below.  Surrey in fact have only one first team regular who is below 22 (Meaker), and while Harinath, Spriegel and Davies are just 23, there is still a core of uber-experienced players in Ramprakash, Batty, Afzaal and Nel.

Udal was critical of his senior players because they under-performed and so he should be.  I appreciate Rory Hamilton-Brown is a young captain who might be reluctant to be overly critical, but why can't Adams come out and say "Afzaal does play some half-witted shots from time to time doesn't he?" or "a bowling attack part comprised of two test players ought to be more consistently incisive than they are".

I am not suggesting that the captain and coach should focus solely on the negatives, but a few home truths from time to time, instead of management guff, might have more of an impact on the players next time they set foot on the ground.


manutd24 said...

Very true.

Surrey haven't been as awful as Middlesex but, yes, we demand an improvement and more responsibility should be shifted of the experience guys (Afzaal, Afzaal and Afzaal).

Anyway, in other news, Chris Tremlett is in the Surrey team for the CB40 double header!

GreenJJ said...

Completely agree that Afzaal has got to shape up or be shipped out.

Cannot believe Tremlett finally made it, a sign of better things to come?!