Skipper Dent demands start to match 2018 finish
10 April 2019
Gloucestershire captain Chris Dent believes his second season as skipper can be a good one for the club if the team can repeat their performances from the closing stages of last summer.
The Championship season ended with a five match unbeaten run and culminated in a win over Derbyshire at Derby, the same opponents Gloucestershire face at the Bristol County Ground on Thursday in their first Division 2 fixture (11.00am).
Whilst Gloucestershire sat out the first round of four day games, Derbyshire convincingly beat Durham by 125 runs, but Dent says the winter work done by the players had put the group in upbeat mood.
"Everyone went into the winter feeling we had come quite a long way in those closing weeks" said Dent.
"We've spoken a lot about why it happened, and doing better overall comes down to being more consistent. When you lose a couple of players, a club like us probably isn't going to jump straight to the top of the table, but I would hope we can go better than last year and be in contention."
The first XI Dent will lead in the Championship contains Josh Shaw, the powerfully built seam bowler who rejoins Gloucestershire on loan from Yorkshire for a third time. He took 34 wickets in 2016, and another 11 having returned to the club for the final month of the 2017 campaign.
Gloucestershire 13 man squad:
Dent (c), Hammond, Bracey, G Hankins, Roderick (wk), J Taylor, Howell, Higgins, van Buuren, M Taylor, H Hankins, Shaw, Drissell
Derbyshire 12 man squad:
Godleman (c), Lace, Reece, Madsen, Hughes, Hosein (wk), Critchley, Dal, van Beek, Palladino, Rampaul, Conners
There are some absentees due to injury which you can find out about below:
- Stuart Whittingham - Abdominal Tear
- David Payne - Bruised heel
- Adrian Neil - Back injury
- Ian Cockbain - Calf strain
- Dan Worrall - Not match fit
Gloucestershire's spin options - should they need them - will also include Jack Taylor, who is cleared to bowl again after suspension. Fifteen months work on his new offering as a leg spinner will add to his skill set as an all rounder, but above all he wants more runs with the bat.
"Four day cricket didn't go as planned last year but I did get a hundred at the end of the season and I want to go onto bigger and better things this time" Taylor revealed. "Runs are my currency and the bowling will be a bonus."
"We've spoken a lot about putting the team before yourself. No-one should be in their comfort zone. Everyone saw how we finished 2018, and we can't use the excuse that we are a young side anymore. We've got a lot of guys who have played a lot of cricket, and it's time to turn in some more consistent performances if we want to be there or thereabouts."