Wells: I'm confident of big scores from Salty, Finch... and me
We're running a series of exclusive columns by Sussex cricket stars throughout the cricket season. Here's the first - by opening batsman Luke Wells
We’re three games into the new season and, although we’re yet to come away with a win, I think there have been plenty of good signs in the games played so far, writes Luke Wells.
There was a lot of rain at Edgbaston and for our first home game, the draw with Gloucestershire, while the wicket at Grace Road made it very difficult for either batters or bowlers to push the game along at any great pace. Most sides would have struggled to gain a positive result from those matches.
We’ve got batsmen with runs under their belts and the bowlers have looked really impressive even if they haven’t all been rewarded with the wickets they deserve. I’m sure that if we continue to play the way we have then we’re going to turn over a few sides as the season progresses.
Last season was a bit of a turning point for me and I’ve been determined to follow it up with another successful campaign this year. So, after starting with a few low scores, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a few extra butterflies fluttering about when I went out to bat in the second innings up at Leicester.
It sounds like a cliché but it really was a case of taking it ball-by-ball. After a tricky period at the end of day three and a very challenging spell from their overseas player, Mohammad Abbas, on the next morning (I did wonder where the next run was coming from after over an hour stuck on my overnight score!) it was hugely satisfying to eventually make it to a hundred.
Adding those runs to career-best bowling figures earlier in the match made it a rewarding match on a personal level – but you always want your own performances to lead to a win. Let’s hope that happens in the next match.
There have been a fair few changes at the club this season. Dizzy has been brilliant since taking over as head coach. He’s a very calm presence in the dressing room and trusts the players to take responsibility for their training and performances.
I’ve got a new partner at the top of the order in Phil Salt. Salty has been a good friend ever since he joined the staff, but before this season I think I’d played more golf with him than cricket. His approach has been spot on so far this season and I feel like a big score isn’t far away – his knock against Gloucester showed how destructive he can be. Once that happens, I think we could see something pretty special from him.
Harry Finch is another young player that has looked in great nick and got a couple of starts without going on to a big score. Again, from where I’ve been standing at the other end, that looks like it could be just around the corner and the way he grafted last week showed real character.
Then there’s our overseas player, Ishant Sharma. None of us knew much about Ish other than his superb record before he arrived, but he’s turned out to be a brilliant addition to the squad. He’s got some great stories, is always on hand with advice for the younger bowlers and is pretty useful with the ball (and bat, as it turns out!) himself.
The forecast looks a lot better for the Middlesex match, so fingers crossed for a full match and a first win!
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