Search

Middlesex batsman sets his sights on regaining number three spot

13:00 19 June 2014

Middlesex

Middlesex's Joe Denly

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Joe Denly says he is determined to force his way back up the Middlesex batting order in the second half of the season.

Denly was dropped from the County Championship side after a poor run of form at the start of the campaign and, despite winning back a place in the team, he has been unable to reclaim his preferred no 3 slot.

The 28-year-old, who has been batting at five or six instead, admits he needs to weigh in with some sizeable scores very soon – and he hopes that will push him back into contention for his previous role.

“It was a tough period,” said Denly. “I didn’t get many runs in the pre-season friendlies and I didn’t have a great deal of confidence going into the season.

“Everyone starts the year with a clean slate and whoever scores runs early on is going to get the nod. Other people who had scored runs got selected and that was fair enough.

“Dawid Malan went up to three and he’s scored some runs. So have Eoin Morgan and Neil Dexter – so the only position left to come in was six and there’s still a lot of responsibility there, especially if you lose a couple of wickets early on.

“But it’s all about trying to score runs to get back up the order. I feel I owe it to the coaches and my team-mates to put in some big performances in the second half of the season and try and achieve that.

“I’ve almost gone back to just not thinking about things too much – it’s a case of doing the basics, watching the ball and playing it.”

As well as trying to move back up the order, Denly’s added incentive for amassing runs during the coming months is to help maintain Middlesex’s title challenge right to the end.

The former Kent batsman was part of the side that, last year, appeared to be in the running for the County Championship crown until their last few games, when they fell away and eventually finished fifth.

“We can’t look too far ahead,” added Denly. “Every team you come up against is very strong and it’s very tight up there – the top four or five are so close.

“People probably didn’t have Durham down as title contenders last year, but the run they went on in the second half of the season was incredible and once they got on a roll they couldn’t be stopped.

“We’ve got the team to do that – in my opinion we’ve got the best bowling attack in the country and we need to be consistent. There’s certainly belief in the team that we can do it.”

Denly struck an undefeated 98 to help Middlesex finally break their duck in the NatWest T20 Blast on Wednesday night as they beat Somerset by eight wickets at the Oval.

The Panthers, who had lost their first six games in the South group, restricted Somerset to 152-4 in their 20 overs before Denly and debutant Ryan Higgins (44 not out) saw them home with 17 balls to spare.

Latest Sport Stories

Arsenal's Tomas Rosicky celebrates with his team-mates (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti ponders what might lie in store for the Gunners in the FA Cup.

Yesterday, 21:48
From left: Highgate Harriers’ Ben Noad, Brahma Pochee, Murray Strain, Jon Laybourn and Robert Wilson won bronze medals at the South of England Cross-Country Championships at Stanmer Park in Brighton. Pic: Dieter Perry

Jon Laybourn stormed to his best ever cross-country finish as Highgate Harriers’ men came third at the South of England Championships in Brighton on Saturday.

Mon, 17:31
Arsenal Ladies' Alex Scott

EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal Ladies full-back Alex Scott is looking forward to the start of the new FA Women’s Super League season after the 2015 fixture list was announced today.

Friday, January 23, 2015
Arsenal's Perry Groves battles for the ball with Leeds United's Chris Fairclough (c) and Chris Whyte (r)

Perry Groves has urged Arsenal to take their ‘Manchester City form’ to the south coast for their big FA Cup fourth round clash with Brighton on Sunday.

Most read sport

The iPhone maker smashed financial records and expectations when it announced its latest round of results.

14 office blocks have all been legally protected from demolition because apparently, they’re of “special interest” to the country.

Fans of cool pictures of fire – this one’s for you.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder