Thursday, 19 August 2010

I'm embarrassed

There is nothing good I can say about Surrey's performance today.  Ok, in this match Chris Tremlett bowled well for his eight wickets, but today, in this innings, we were a disgrace.

Already four down overnight, Davies and Rory Hamilton-Brown could perhaps have had in mind the big blob of rain clouds I saw hoving in the direction of Worcester on BBC Breakfast this morning.  But no, apparently what they had in mind was an early finish and perhaps some golf in the afternoon.  That is the only reason I can see behind the pair of them coming out and thrashing 50-odd off 40-odd deliveries.  Why?

Shamefully Surrey were done and dusted inside 14 overs from Lancefield's wicket falling last night to Chris Tremlett being the last man out today.  Facing a total of 369 the idea today should've been to play out some time, not thrash it about the place.  Only four batsmen made it into double figures and Spriegel and Walters who so recently have looked in good nick cannot buy a run at the moment.

This match was lost in not closing out Worcestershire's first innings once we had them 106-5, and then failing to do so again in the second innings when they were 125-5.  To have a side 5 down with less than 130 on the board twice and let them pass 300 twice is going to result in defeats more often than not.

Of course credit must go to Worcestershire.  In the first innings James Cameron was excellent and in the second Kervezee was outstanding, they were ably assisted by Shakib al Hasan's bowling today.  Surrey's batsmen might have gifted him the wickets, but I don't doubt he was bowling excellently.

I understand there was some ruckus between Gareth Batty and the Worcestershire supporters which resulted in the latter dissolving into tears in the dressing room.  As the Cricinfo report points out he ought to have developed a thicker skin by now, but there's absolutely no room for that in cricket.  Batty might not have covered himself in glory in this match but he's a good cricketer, I think he can count on the support of the Surrey fans when he gets back to the Oval.

So where to from here?  I don't think many Surrey supporters are going to enjoy reading descriptions like "a collapse of rare ineptitude" and "it was remarkably gormless cricket", and Adams' frankness in expressing that "we're far off where we want to be" is welcome but frustrating.  He's approaching two years in charge and sometimes it looks like we've made precisely zero progress.  Yes there are the flashes of brilliance and the limited overs stuff has been a vast improvement, but in the County Championship, where it matters most, we are nowhere.

There are specific issues - the opening partnership is a million miles from settled and the bowling, particularly in the spin department, is too frequently found wanting.  But worryingly there are more general issues about playing the situation, elementary stuff I'd have thought, which far too few of the players seem to comprehend.  I'm not suggesting we need a clearout at the top, but I think captain and coach need to take a long hard look at themselves, two times in three games we've been played off the park against teams we should at least be on a par with.


Chappers said...

Morning - me again - sorry!

I think your report it being a bit kind!! RHB showed the imposities of youth and needs to spend more time with Ramps and significantly less time with Andrew Symonds.

Adams I suspect may be under huge pressure from the Surrey board, If this performance had been at the oval he would have been dragged into the board room. He is lucky that the test match is going on.

Batting collapses happen when there is a lack of confidence and increased self doubt in a dressing room. In this case Surrey collapsed twice in this game and have done so relatively regularly this season. This indicates that the batsmen aren't spending enough time mentally preparing to bat, or worse don't understand how to mentally prepare for batting. In their defence they may also be shattered from playing so many evening 2020 and 40 over games.

Adams made a good point when he said that if Ramps doesn't bat for 3 sessions the team is in trouble. Surrey wont be able to "buy" another Ramps, so someone is going to have to put their hand up from inside the club and say I'm the man - it should be Rory - but you have blogged about that before.

Tremlett aside, this apears on the face of it to be a relavively "helpful" pitch, which does beg the question as to what happened to the bowlers - Meaker and Dernbatch were supposed to be in form after Guildford. I suspect that Batty was trying too hard, the abuse may not have helped, but unlike a fast bowler a spinner cannot take it out in the same way on the batsmen.
Your very frustratedly.

Chappers said...

p.s. Adams also whinged about not getting an overseas pro for the remainder of the season... given that he had Yousif, Symonds and Nel for the twenty20 he should have thoguht a bit better about how he spent his budget. I am not sure forward planning is one of his strong points. And that is what he claims he is doing with Surrey. Oh.

GreenJJ said...

Morning chappers - you're more than welcome on the blog! I didn't like Adams' comments about the overseas, "I have been asked to do without an overseas player....", you've had three this season, Rao, Younus and Symonds and they've all been crap, so quit whingeing. My concern is that by not bothering with an overseas we've shown a distinct lack of ambition which is not a good sign.

On Meaker and Dernbach, I think for a while they are going to be a bit frustrating, Dernbach may never stop being frustrating but he does have a habit of taking wickets in bunches and we don't have many players who do that.

We can't buy a Ramps and he will be gone before we know it. Chris Rogers is apparently available from Derbyshire - Middlesex are rumoured to be after him - he's exactly what we need, a quality opening batsman to complement Ramps.

Yours equally frustratedly!

Chappers said...

seeing as you are making me so welcome, the last paragraph on the match report from this debacle on the surrey website says
"A disappointing fourth day for Surrey after a bright start, losing six wickets for just 18 runs in 45 minutes of play. Attention now turns back to the CB40 where they face the Unicorns at Wormsley on Sunday before heading to Grace Road to take on Leicestershire in the LV= County Championship on Tuesday."

How are the batsmen going to improve without any time to practice with a schedule like this.

Actually the brush this under the carpet attitude on the website also really grates.
If this reflects the staate of mind at the club, I will be bitching about Surrey Cricket for a long time to come!!!

GreenJJ said...

The anodyne nature of the website stories was why I started the blog in the first place, one particularly bad one after we'd lost horribly against Essex I think it was, they called it a 'brave' defeat. In the club's defence, I emailed them and Gus Mackay himself got back to me, the story was thereafter corrected! I think generally speaking it is better these days, Rich Abbott is a good writer and he writes some of the reports. I guess they can't be too critical of the players, that's what the blog is for! And don't get me started on the schedule...absolutely crazy!