Somersetin the clear with‘ made to order’ pitch!
AS the County Championship season came to an end this week, there were still a number of issues to resolve. Somerset and Middlesex faced each other at Taunton, with both counties needing points to survive – and I can’t see anything wrong with Somerset producing a turning pitch.
We all want to see results, and as long as it stays a fair battle, then there’s nothing wrong. Somerset had the home advantage and produced a pitch that gave them the best opportunity to win the game and remain in Division One.
If there’s nothing wrong with a green seamer doing all sorts on day one, then there’s nothing wrong with the ball turning on the first day either. Going back a few years and Northants did it quite often, Essex have done it in the past too.
If you’ve got top-quality spinners, then that’s the way you play. England will go Down Under this winter, knowing Australia have bouncy pitches, and they know they’re going to be facing tall, fast bowlers. Just like counties know that if you’re going to Taunton for a four-day game, then the ball will spin.
We always talk about wanting England to be able to play spin better for when we go to the sub-continent, and Taunton is offering that help. Let’s not all jump at them – it’s very exciting to watch.
We had green pitches in Leicestershire in the nineties because our squad of David Millns, Alan Mullally, Phil Simmons, Vince Wells, Gordon Parsons.
Green pitches suited us, and you use your home conditions. Surrey this season have had a strong batting line-up so have produced good batting pitches for the likes of Sangakkara and co to dominate.
I’m happy for teams to use their home advantage, so good on Somerset Director of Cricket Matt Maynard for backing their strength.
And it’s slight karma for Middlesex after their declaration this time last year ruled Somerset out of the title running, while they went on to become champions. You do what you need to do
Somerset had home advantage and produced a pitch that gave them the best opportunity to stay in division one
to win. As long as you’re still playing in the spirit of the game, then I’m all for it. You can’t be silly and declare two down to deny the opposition getting bonus points, because that’s not in the spirit of the game. You still need to play the right way to win.
The way the fixtures have fallen made this week very interesting. It’s why two divisions were brought in – otherwise you would have had a number of teams not fighting for anything collectively. As it is, there was still lots to play for in both divisions.
We all thought Notts had it tied up a few weeks back, but it doesn’t take much to mix it back up. That the season was going down to the last few overs bowled is brilliant and keeps everyone going.
Of course, you’ve always got personal pride to play for. You’ve still got contracts to earn, and there are international tours this winter to try and get a place on.
You still need your targets and goals to reach, so there should be no such thing as a non-competitive match, whatever the time of season.
Spin it to win it! But did Somerset bend the Laws too much by setting up a turning deck at Taunton for their Championship match with Middlesex this week?