7th May 2019

Patel: “Young guys now have experience and knowledge to draw on”

Jeetan Patel believes the performances of Warwickshire's younger players provided a big silver lining to the team's exit from the Royal London Cup at the group stage.

The captain admits that “major errors” cost his side dear as their chances of qualification from the North Group were extinguished with two games still to play.

The injury-hit Bears struggled to impose themselves on too many games early in the group. But within the campaign, the likes of Alex Thomson, Liam Banks and Alex Mellor delivered match-shaping displays at times and Patel believes they will take plenty from that.

"The exciting thing is that guys like Thomson, Banks, Yates and Mellor now have that experience and knowledge to draw on as they go forward."

Jeetan Patel

“I’m not going to lie and say I’m happy about the way we have gone in the tournament,” he said. “We have made some major errors at major times but we have also done a lot of good things.

“It was always going to be a time of experimentation when we expose some younger players to a different level. I would be very disappointed if people wrote us off as not good enough. I think we are good enough. We are just learning, when it comes to crunch times in games, about making the right decisions and being smart.

“Against a good Lancashire side at Edgbaston we played some really smart cricket. It was just a shame that sort of performance came so late in the group but the way the competition is set out you have to hit the ground running and we didn’t so that. The exciting thing is that guys like Thomson, Banks, Yates and Mellor now have that experience and knowledge to draw on as they go forward.”

Thomson’s emergence as a reliable contributor with both bat and ball was the biggest plus for Warwickshire. The 25-year-old performed consistently well under pressure, scoring valuable runs and bowling accurate off-spin which suggested he could offer the Bears a three-pronged spin option in this summer’s Vitality Blast, alongside Patel and overseas signing Ashton Agar.

“Alex did very well and it is exciting to potentially have 12 overs of spin available in T20,” Patel said. “Everybody knows that I like spin-bowling and having spin-bowlers in my side. We will manage the players and look at pitches and the opposition for each game and select the appropriate team, but to have the three-spinner option is great.”

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