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Middlesex cricket column: Positive Spin – with Ravi Patel

Ravi Patel, Middlesex Ravi Patel, Middlesex

Thursday, June 5, 2014
7:13 AM

It’ll be interesting to see who gets the nod in terms of spin bowlers when the England selectors pick their squad for the first Test.

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A lot depends on the balance of the attack they want to go with, but I think there are quite a few names in the hat – all guys with the potential to step up and do well.

Monty Panesar’s played a lot of Test matches, but I certainly think Scott Borthwick and Moeen Ali are in with a good shout as well.

I’ve seen quite a lot of Borthwick at first hand in our game at Durham this week – mainly with the bat – and he’s shown he could be the full package. If you’re coming in at number three for the county champions, you can’t be a bad batsman.

All credit to him and Mark Stoneman – they both got in and made it count. But we dug in and at least we were able to play some cricket, which unfortunately wasn’t the case at Merchant Taylors’ last week.

Having built up some momentum in the Championship, we really wanted to carry that forward against Sussex. But, with the weather as it was, there was nothing we could do about it.

We all felt gutted about that, but we didn’t waste the time – we played a few epic games of football on the Astroturf pitch there, which was good team bonding, and did a bit of training as well.

So far, we still haven’t been able to find that elusive first win in the T20, but one of the positives in our last game against Surrey was the batting of Dawid Malan and Toby Roland-Jones.

Toby’s in good form with both bat and ball – he’s been such a consistent bowler for us over the last couple of years and he just seems to pick up wickets all the time.

When he puts a string of games together he’s as good as anyone on the county scene and he’s played for England Lions as well, so they’ve clearly taken note of what he can do.

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