Middlesex cricketer’s column: Keeping busy

The Middlesex boys had a good night out at the races this week – good for team bonding, if not for most of our wallets.

A few of the players did well – Adam London, Josh Davey, Adam Voges and Andrew Balbirnie. The rest of us were just counting our losses.

But we won’t be thinking about losses when we get back to the County Championship against Durham – we’re sky high on confidence after beating Sussex by 10 wickets in our last game.

It was all about standing up as individuals and everyone did that at Hove. We were very clinical with bat and ball and, if we play to our capability again, we’re confident of turning Durham over.

Durham are right up there and we know how good a side they are on their day. But, if you want to win championships, you’ve got to beat the teams around you, and a win would put us nearer the top of the table.

I’m sure they’ll be right on the money, even though they haven’t played any red-ball cricket for a while. It can be difficult coming from one form to another, but ultimately it boils down to mindset.

Four-day cricket can be more tactically-based and you’ve got to adapt mentally to batting for long periods of time. But it isn’t only Durham who have to make that transition – we do as well.

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We’ll have Finny available again, which is good news. While it’s disappointing that England left him out, I suppose they haven’t done too badly without him.

Australia surprised a few in that first Test, but at Lord’s England were on top from ball one. It’d be fantastic to retain the Ashes with two Tests to play and go for a whitewash.

The Old Trafford wicket tends to spin a bit more, so it could be interesting to see if either side or both go in with two spinners. Then there’s the Manchester weather – and that might save Australia this time!