Any season where Somerset wins a trophy must be deemed a success. So 2019 was a successful season and I am very, very proud of everyone at the Club because everyone contributes along the line.
This time last year I wrote “It’s batting that makes the difference!” and this remains as true for this season as it did for last. I don’t think I am sticking my head out when I write that in the Championship our batting remains weaker than our bowling. 25 batting bonus points compared to Kent’s 36 and Surrey’s 33. In Division 1, the range of bowling points won is a mere 6 points, while across the batting points (excluding poor Nottinghamshire who had a season they will want to forget) the range is a huge 12 points; with Yorkshire scoring just 24.
I don’t doubt for a moment that the coaches are aware of this and puzzled that talented players such as ours can still fall short of their potential. In contrast it was the batting which stood out successfully in the T20 campaign and our bowling attack which could not defend the totals set. Perhaps there was rather too much reliance of the opening pair. Certainly Babar Azam and Tom Banton must now rank amongst the most feared opening partnership in domestic T20. While we certainly missed Lewis Gregory in the middle order, who was brilliant in 2018, Tom Abell suddenly developed his white ball batting and became a revelation.
I am at a loss as to why an attack which should be feared in Championship cricket could not be equally successful in the shortest form of the game.
Staying with the Championship, which is the most important competition, we won the same number of games as Essex but failed to hang on to draws three times. While bowling wins matches, tough batting can turn defeats into draws and Essex managed to do this whilst we had bad days at Chelmsford, Leeds and somewhere not far from Southampton.
However, in the Royal London One Day Cup, everything came together, especially in the knock-out stages and let’s celebrate this as an enduring memory of a successful season and look forward to the team being just that little bit more successful in the enlarged Division 1 next year, which will be our thirteenth consecutive year competing in the top division.