How did we go this season? Summed up simply, good in parts, not good enough when it counted, and ultimately disappointing.
I started the season not expecting much, got hopes up around June time when we gloriously led the championship with Alfonso and Tres to the fore. However, the players seemed to run of steam, the management of ideas and the supporters of hope.
Many saw the LV=CC season as a success but in the end we reached the same position as 2013 when we were dire most of that season and fighting relegation. Only difference this year was we were never really in the dogfight. The CC is the club’s aim and as a result is our yardstick – we need to keep on at it.
Limited overs competition effort was especially disappointing though to be fair the t20 we were always on the back foot. We never looked like we had a plan, certainly missed the back end hitting of Buttler, and as a result perished. The 50 overs really we should have qualified. We put in a couple of dire performances interspersed with some brilliance (we did beat the winners after all), and in the end fell short.
The end of season changes with Nosworthy going may have already fed down to the players by this time and as a result we were affected. As a supporter and member we have had a lot of limited over success so to not even qualify was a really bad feeling. Financially I don’t think it helps either.
All in all we should have done better, and in terms of pure results our worst for some time. Hope springs eternal though in a couple of our younger players which keeps the mood up.
I guess the LVCC season was better than last year but still not what was required. We put in early strong batting performances which made us really difficult to beat but we lacked the strength to get the wins necessary. We got into good positions in several games and especially at Taunton where the wicket seems to flatten out we struggled to get over the line. Is it our bowlers? I don’t know. I ask myself would Yorkshire’s bowlers have bowled out Lancs and Middx in those games where we were so clearly on top. Maybe, maybe not but certainly our pitch needs to be looked at a bit.
What was good? The batting early season was excellent. It appeared that Tres was back to his best and that Houghton had instilled a will not to lose wickets easily. It tapered off a bit towards the end but was so much better than the year before. We need more out of Hildreth though!!
Where do Somerset need to improve? I think we need to look at our pitch to start. A good wicket should be good for batting at the start and then deteriorate. Ours seems to be the total opposite. Don’t know how easy that is to fix and it is easy to say. I think we maybe could improve the spinning department. Dockrell was poor last year and I like Leachy a lot. One of those 2 needs to make big strides next year which may help. I think our catching in CC games also needs to improve a lot. Catches win matches apparently!!!
Overall Poor. I think apart from the early t20 matches in 2003/2004 this was the poorest I had seen a Somerset team in that competition. We certainly missed Buttler’s back end hitting, and without that seemed not to have a plan. The bowling in some of the games was (to be honest) awful. There was the 2 games v Kent which spring to mind.
What was good? The fact that we were still in the competition going to the last round of games in the group stages I suppose says a lot for the team’s determination to keep going. The win v Glos when it seemed a drubbing was on the cards was also excellent. Dirk Nannes was consistent throughout too.
Where do Somerset need to improve? We didn’t seem to have a plan in some games, and for the most part struggled to get back into games when bad starts were made. I would like to see evidence of plans being in place. Maybe we did have and it’s just wasn’t evident last year or the player who played couldn’t execute these. Tres for me should sit out t20 games now if possible. If we could sign an aggressive domestic batter or a more aggressive overseas player (Alviro isn’t the man for me in this competition), and although I thought Nannes did well a second overseas hitter who can also bowl would help. (surely there will be Australians who are not in the test team but picked for the one dayers who will want some practice before those games begin). I think Meschede and Dibble can assist in this competition too. Big lads who bowl and can thump it miles. Injuries restricted them though.
Overall We should have qualified in this competition. We hammered Durham, and got done by D/L v Kent. Should have beaten Notts too. Therefore, this was probably more disappointing than the t20. Inconsistent is how I would describe our performances.
What was good? Batting was good in most of the games. Trego was immense and I thought Ingram was solid too (in fact I’d have him back). Leachy came in and did well too. Our wickets too seemed particularly conducive to excellent one day cricket.
Where do Somerset need to improve? Bowling no doubt. Alf was disappointing in the one day competition for someone of his stature. We need more consistency in the bowling to restrict sides to let the batting take over.
Player of the Season:
For me it’s Lewis Gregory. His innings v Durham and a couple of his cameos in CC cricket were a joy. His bowling carried a threat throughout and it was great to see him bowl over after over after recent injuries. Need to manage that workload though and we will have quite a player on our hands.
Craig Overton. His bowling particularly in CC cricket and the times I saw him was threatening at all times and he is accurate. I just hope his brother gets back to his best too and that will be formidable. I saw him hit a shot of one of the Durham fast bowlers at Taunton into the river- he’s talented!!!
George Dockrell. He’s been around for so long you just expect him to produce. Injuries may have affected him last season but we need him to get a good winter under his belt and back firing next year. We need wickets from spinners to compete.
Views on our new Director of Cricket. What do you hope Matt will bring to the club and what should his priorities be for 2015:
I’m happy with it if I’m honest. Seems like a really good genuine guy who handles himself well. I wasn’t in the Giles camp as there were too many doubts over his real intentions. As the hierarchy have said Matt is a good fit for us. I think he will work hard, be a good ambassador and be a player’s man. I think a couple of shrewd signings , some better man management, and putting clearer game plans in place should be what he should be looking at.
Areas for development for 2015, things we need to work on:
Catching – don’t know if a new fielding coach would help, but I remember in one innings I think we dropped about 8 catches. I have said it before if we could sign a domestic player, and an aggressive overseas I think that would help too.
I am optimistic for next year. Gregory, the Overtons, Meschede and Dibble are all exciting young players. Hopefully the winter will sort Mesch and Jove and that Dibble gets over his injuries as he for me could make a difference. Couple that with the experience of Tres and Alf and hopefully Hildreth getting back to where he should be and a couple of shrewd signings we will have enough to put in all round strong performance.
Player to watch for in 2015:
Craig Meschede. He was good two seasons ago but I think injuries slowed him down last season. He’s had an op in the close season so hopefully next year he comes out firing. Talented hitter and excellent bowler and fielder. I like watching him play.
If they were available, who would you sign for next season?
- Domestic– Jim Allenby
- Overseas – AB De Villiers
Somerset, with the players at their disposal, really should have done better.
Mark: 4 out of 10