Somerset are now ready and more than Abell
SKIPPER TOM OUT TO GAIN REVENGE ON ESSEX
TOM ABELL says a blend of youthful exuberance and bitter experience can combine to see Somerset finally get their hands on a red- ball trophy.
The Cidermen go into the five- day Bob Willis Trophy final as underdogs, missing a host of key men, and with a long history of falling at the final hurdle.
They have never won a County Championship title and have finished second in three out of the last four years – losing to today’s rivals Essex in an agonising rain- affected final round last summer.
Yet despite talent leaking from the club with Jamie Overton and Dom Bess going to Surrey and Yorkshire respectively, and star batsman Tom Banton away at the Indian Premier League, captain Abell insisted their time had come.
Despite the might of Essex in front of them Abell insisted Somerset have a great chance of taking red- ball silverware back to Taunton.
He said: “I don’t feel we go in as underdogs at all. I have every confidence and every faith in the ability within our squad.
“We have seen that real exuberance of youth through this summer. Some of our younger players have stood up and been counted in pressure situations as well.”
In seamers Craig Overton, above, Jack Brooks and Josh Davey and spinner Jack Leach – Bess is in the 13- man squad and could yet play – Somerset have an experienced and potent bowling attack. With wicketkeeper Steve Davies, Abell ( twice), Tom Lammonby ( twice) and George Bartlett all having scored centuries this season they are not short of runs.
Winning the toss will be important on a fresh wicket at Lord’s this morning, given a drawn match will be decided on first- innings runs.
Banton would have been handy in that regard but his decision to play IPL was understandable, according to his captain – even though an “appalled” John Cleese took to Twitter to write: “Shame on you Tom”.
Abell, above, said: “Bants was despe desperate to play in this final but he has responsibility and co commitments he has to fu fulfil. That is the nature of the beast with the player he is and the position he is in.
“He is in demand all aro around the world.
“I In an ideal world we would have Ja Jamie Overton available as well but he is a Surrey player now. But our bowling is a huge area of strength and I believe we can count on taking 20 wickets.”
Having been denied by Essex last season it would be perfect if they could gain some revenge.
Abell said: “Given how last year played out, it will be a huge match- up, there’s a huge amount on the line.
“There is that heartache after last year but Essex were deserved winners and we felt like we needed to improve. I feel like we’ve done that this season, we’re in a great place as a team.”
IN THE RUNS: Lammonby has scored two tons