Thursday, 22 March 2012

First pre-season game in the bank, what have we learned?

The short answer is, not much. The bowlers have some miles in their legs, but the top order batsmen don't have an awful lot to write home about.

The big winners from the last couple of days are Jon Lewis, who picked up 3-50, Tom Lancefield who rode out a tricky period amongst which Surrey fell to 16-5, and Rory Burns who put in a decent shift with the bat in the first and second innings.

With that kind of top order collapse it would be easy to come to the conclusion that the winters of Hamilton-Brown, Roy and Maynard, spent playing Twenty20 cricket in New Zealand and Bangladesh, had not been spent in an ideal fashion. But that would probably be reading too much into a two day fixture which is the first meaningful outing all the players have had with/against the red ball in many a month.

Stuart Meaker made it through plenty of overs, a few wickets, and a fair few runs as well and seems very likely now to be at the head of the pack for the Sussex game. It's possible that the fight for the final seam bowling slot is between Jon Lewis and Tim Linley. Linley didn't collect many wickets in this game while Lewis was, statistically at least, more impressive. It's still far from cut and dry however, Linley has a lot of credit in the bank and it would be a bold move to leave him out of the first fixture.

Two fixtures remain before the proper cricket starts. Next week Surrey have four days in Somerset, followed by the opening first class fixture of the season against Leeds-Bradford MCCU at the Oval. Adams won't be too worried by the below-par batting performance in this game, but equally he won't want that repeated against Somerset, leaving only one game for the batsmen to have some time in the middle. There is work to be done, but I'd rather we had a 16-5 situation in the middle of March than at the start of April.

No comments: