In his latest blog for Lords.org, Middlesex's John Simpson discusses his side's fighting character, losing Lasith Malinga and gaining Eoin Morgan.
We get back in action at Lord’s this week with a tricky match against Sussex after a few weeks away on the road. It has been a pleasing period for us; while we’ve not won a Championship match since playing Worcestershire at Lord’s we’ve shown a lot of character in draws with Nottinghamshire and the champions Lancashire.
Notts had an attack including Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann and Andre Adams and seeing Chris Rogers, Sam Robson and Joe Denly grind Lancashire to 265/1 on the final day showed the character in this team. We’ve had the determination to scrap for our share of the points and it only gives us confidence moving forward.
We’ve also been playing for the last few weeks with two captains, since Neil Dexter decided to step down for the four-day matches temporarily to regain his form with the bat. It’s testament to the togetherness of the squad that it hasn’t affected things. We know our roles and have concentrated on them.
Personally I’ve not quite got going yet with the bat. I’ve perhaps been guilty of getting starts and not going on, which is frustrating, but I feel a big score is around the corner.
The step up to first division cricket means that, whereas in division two the first and second change bowlers are not always as testing as the opening bowlers, here there is no let-up. The change bowlers are just as good and the quality of spinners is also much higher.
Conditions have not been ideal for batting for much of the season so far but that’s not an excuse. As Nick Compton has shown, if you’re patient you can get the kind of runs which put you in the England frame, and that’s what I’m looking to do.
We had some bad news this week, when we were told that Lasith Malinga is not going to be playing with us in the T20 Cup.
The squad were obviously very excited to have someone of his calibre coming over to play, but at the end of the day he’s got a heavy workload and is carrying a few niggles after the IPL, so something had to give. Unfortunately for us, and the fans, that was Middlesex.
Hopefully there’s an exciting replacement in the pipeline. As players, we don’t get told about these kind of signings until it’s a done deal but it will be interesting to see what kind of player we replace him with.
Eoin Morgan is back from the IPL and back playing for Middlesex. I know Eoin was disappointed that he didn’t play any cricket out in India but he’s comfortable with his decision and it’s our gain that he’s back in this country.
He’s one of the most talented batsmen England has and I’m looking forward to seeing him score the runs he needs to push back open the international door and regain his Test place.