HELM PRAISES VETTORI FOR POSITIVE IMPACT
DESPITE another impending early T20 exit, Daniel Vettori is having a positive impact on Middlesex’s fortunes, says Tom Helm.
Friday’s narrow loss to Essex Eagles at Chelmsford left Vettori’s side bottom of the South Group and needing a miracle ahead of yesterday’s game with Gloucester at Uxbridge to make the knockout stages.
Middlesex were left needing not only a win at Gatting Way and in their last group game on Friday – at Glamorgan – but also for other results to go their way.
The likely failure to emulate last year’s run to the quarterfinals, despite heavy investment in Vettori’s three-year contract and the re-engaging of fellow New Zealander Brendon McCullum as skipper, has attracted criticism from disgruntled fans.
Helm, though, believes Vettori has begun to bring a different atmosphere and approach which will pay dividends in time.
“Daniel brings a different attitude and a different vibe, for one thing,” said Helm. “It is a very happy dressing room. He has a laugh, he is a laid-back guy.
“I don’t think it is a case of us having been uptight in the past, more perhaps we have been striving too hard and thinking we need to do something different this year and please everyone, but there has been a simple outlook on the game based on enjoying yourself.
“It helps when you win of course.”
While the Vettori regime may have fallen short of collective success, there can be little doubt Helm has made huge strides.
Back after two years of injury torment, the Bucks-born seamer has become a fixture in four-day cricket and is leading wicket taker for the tenants of Lord’s in T20 with 16 at just under 17 apiece.
An economy rate of nearer eight than seven needs work, but the 23-year-old has excelled at least twice under lights. Helm returned the best figures by a Middlesex bowler in the format with 5-11 in victory over Essex and bowled a brilliant final over to snatch the hosts the points against Sussex last Thursday.
He attributes his advance at least in part to the belief invested in him by Vettori.
“Daniel is a big believer in us trusting ourselves,” he added. “As bowlers, we know what our best balls are, what we are most likely to get wickets or dot balls with.
“He will research and know what the batters like and give you his advice, but he lets you get on with it and do it your way.”
Middlesex bowler Tom Helm