Opening Up: Middlesex cricket column with Nick Gubbins
- Credit: Archant
Most of the lads have got some relaxation over the last week or two – and now we’re re-energised and ready for the big push.
The break came at a good time for us and, although you can’t look too far ahead, I’d say this game at Edgbaston is arguably the biggest one of the season.
Warwickshire are a strong side, they’ve just qualified for the final of the 50-over cup, and I think the way we perform against them will give us a good indication of where we are.
Although that’s a different format, what it means is that Warwickshire are playing some good cricket and they’re also match-fit after their semi-final against Somerset earlier in the week – so we need to make sure we’re right on it.
It’s a disappointment that we’ll be finishing the season without Adam Voges – obviously it would have been good to have a bloke of his class and quality available.
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With that said, we’ve done well all season with this group of players and, when you look at the depth of the squad, you know whichever 11 blokes are selected will go out and do a job.
Of course, while a few of the lads went away, others were playing for the second XI and it’s good to see some of them back in the senior squad for Edgbaston.
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Ravi Patel deserves a particular mention – he’s been pushed right back by injury this summer but it’s exciting to see him bowling so well and taking 14 wickets for the 2s the other day.
Ravi’s bowled a lot of overs and he gives us an extra dimension. Because of the toss rule, teams are producing dry pitches and it’s good to have the option of going in with two spinners.
That’s also the case over the next couple of weeks, with our fixtures at Trent Bridge and Old Trafford – both pitches that tend to be conducive to spin.
People have suggested the title is just between ourselves and Yorkshire – and I guess the last game of the season, when we play them at Lord’s, would be a fairytale finish.
But wins are absolute gold dust and two in a row could easily take you up there. Look at Surrey, who have gone from being relegation candidates to the top three within a couple of weeks.
So I don’t think it’s just about the top two – a lot could happen yet. We’re looking forward to what lies ahead and we’ll be giving it our all.