Search

Coach confident Middlesex can manage at Nottingham without England opener

22:56 12 June 2014

Middlesex

Middlesex's Eoin Morgan

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Coach Richard Scott believes Middlesex’s batting line-up is now strong enough to cope without Sam Robson as they enter the second half of their County Championship campaign.

Robson, who has scored more runs this season than any Middlesex batsman except Chris Rogers, made his England debut in the ongoing first Test against Sri Lanka and misses Middlesex’s next four-day game against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, but Scott insists any disruption to the side will be minimal.

In contrast to last year, when the team were heavily reliant on Rogers and Robson for runs, every other batsman has made significant contributions in the first half of the season.

Neil Dexter and Eoin Morgan average above 40, while Dawid Malan has amassed more than 400 runs, and Joe Denly and Paul Stirling both hit key half-centuries in Middlesex’s drawn match at Durham last week.

“Firstly, we were all delighted by Sam’s selection for England,” said Scott. “One of our aims as a club is to produce international players through success on the field.

“We don’t expect to change the side a great deal. Eoin Morgan’s back and, while he and Sam don’t cancel each other out as such, it does mean we have another England player available in the short term.

“What’s great is that we’ve got consistency in our batting line-up now – players are getting runs on a regular basis and it’s not just the same ones every time.

“That’s a sign of the strength we have at the club. There’s competition for places and no place in the side is really assured, but we’ve got to continue the consistency we’ve shown so far.”

Although Malan remains the most likely candidate to open with Rogers at Trent Bridge, the coach confirmed that Stirling – who opens in one-day cricket – is very much in line to feature again as a middle-order batsman.

The Irishman is best known as a fast-scoring limited-overs specialist, but his gritty maiden Championship half-century at Durham helped to ensure that the Lord’s side ground out a draw after conceding a colossal 568-9.

“We had the luxury of playing him at no 7 and he hasn’t played a lot of red-ball cricket, but that was a vital knock for us,” said Scott. “He seemed to thrive under pressure.

“Funnily enough his one-day form has been poor of late – we know how effective he can be in quick bursts but we’ve been encouraging him to play longer innings and he’s made progress there.

“We showed a lot of fighting qualities against Durham – at 40-4 we were staring down the barrel, but the guys stood up to be counted. It’s very heartening when you see the lower to middle order perform like that.”

Following the Nottinghamshire clash, Middlesex take on Somerset in the NatWest T20 Blast on Wednesday (6.30pm) – technically a home game, although it has been moved to The Oval.

Latest Sport Stories

Thu, 21:04
Paul Stirling, Middlesex

Paul Stirling hit a swashbuckling 90 and James Franklin took five wickets as Middlesex crushed Kent by 115 runs for their first Twenty20 win of the season.

Thu, 17:23
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny

Bob Wilson has backed Wojciech Szczesny to start Saturday’s FA Cup final – and claims he still has “all the talent needed” to be Arsenal’s first choice for many years.

Thu, 12:30
Nick Gubbins, Middlesex. Pic: Matt Bright Photography

After cycling around the Olympic Park Velodrome last winter, Nick Gubbins is focused on a different kind of white-knuckle ride at Middlesex.

Thu, 11:10
Arsenal's Theo Walcott during a training session ahead of the FA Cup Final at London Colney. Should he start up front? Picture: PA/John Walton

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Uche Amako ponders the big questions ahead of the Gunners’ biggest match of the season.

Most read sport

Competitions

Time to expand with the LeefiBRIDGE.

More iOS memory in a flash: Introducing Leef iBRIDGE.

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder