Irani issues rallying cry

ESSEX start a County Championship match with Somerset at Taunton this morning with a rallying cry from captain Ronnie Irani following their poor showing against Leicestershire, against whom they suffered an eight-wickets defeat at Chelmsford inside three days last week.

ESSEX start a County Championship match with Somerset at Taunton this morning with a rallying cry from captain Ronnie Irani following their poor showing against Leicestershire, against whom they suffered an eight-wickets defeat at Chelmsford inside three days last week.

“There was no way we should have let them amass over 400 in their first innings,” he reflected. “The pitch gave bowlers plenty of encouragement and we should have restricted them to around 300.

“But we failed to do that and were always struggling to stay in the game once they had posted their 417 total which gave them the initiative.

“We didn't bat particularly well either, although I do compliment Leicestershire because they bowled well on what was a good cricket wicket and we didn't adapt accordingly.


You may also want to watch:


“The fact of the matter is that they out-bowled us and we need to heed a few lessons.”

Essex will need to respond to their skipper's comments and display a marked improvement with both bat and ball in order to get back on track.

Most Read

The batting was brittle to say the least, with too many getting out in the 20s and 30s when seemingly well set and the bowling also lacked a cutting edge and the consistent line and length needed, not altogether a surprise when one realises Darren Gough was absent through a pulled hamstring suffered in the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy clash against Hampshire.

Neither was the fielding impressive, particularly close to the wicket, where both centurions Hylton Ackerman and Dinesh Mongia were dropped before they had reached half-centuries.

Today's opponents also suffered a crushing defeat in their previous match in the competition capitulating to an innings defeat at Northampton for their second defeat in three matches in the competition.

Somerset director of cricket Brian Rose has also urged for improved performances from his batsmen.

“We must bat better,” he said. “In the last match, we put ourselves under pressure by failing to make enough runs in our first innings and it is essential that we put this right.”

Essex have named a 13-man squad for today's encounter. Gough will have a late fitness test on his hamstring strain while Alex Tudor and Will Jefferson continue their comeback trail playing for the Second XI, but Ravinder Bopara, who missed the match with Leicestershire, does return following his appearance for England A against Sri Lanka.

Squads

Somerset (from): M Wood (captain), J Francis, C White, A Suppiah, J Hildreth, W Durston, C Gazzard, P Trego, R Johnson, A Caddick, D Cullen and C Willoughby.

Essex (from): R Irani (captain), G Flower, M Pettini, R Bopara, A Flower, R ten Doeschate, J Foster, J Middlebrook, T Phillips, A Adams, G Napier, A Palladino and D Gough.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter