First-team coach Jim Troughton insists that Warwickshire’s players must stay “in the moment” when they face Middlesex at Edgbaston tomorrow.
Without a win in seven Specsavers County Championship games, the Bears are bottom of Division One with a lot of work to do to claw themselves up the table.
"There were some very encouraging signs from the Lancashire game, not least from two of the young guys Andy Umeed and George Panayi."
In such a situation it is tempting to look ahead and assess how many points or wins will be needed to get safe. But such speculation, says Troughton, would be nothing but a distraction. All his players must do is concentrate on these four days against the reigning champions and try to build on the encouraging aspects of last week’s draw with Lancashire.
“We have to stay in the moment,” he said. “It’s very easy to start looking ahead and saying ‘we need this many points’ but we are up against it right now and the only way we are going to change that is to deal with now. “We’ve got to just focus on the moment. If we can win the next ball, the next moment, then the session takes care of itself and the day takes care of itself and the game takes care of itself.
“There were some very encouraging signs from the Lancashire game, not least from two of the young guys Andy Umeed and George Panayi, so now we have got to make it back-to-back better performances. Middlesex are the champions and, though they have had a slightly innocuous start, they are strong and when any team plays at their best in Division One they are a very good side.
“It was disappointing that rain prevented us trying to close out a win against Lancashire, but within an hour of the game being called off on Thursday the guys were in the nets and thinking about the Middlesex game.”
The impressive efforts of Umeed, who defied Lancashire’s James Anderson-led attack for over seven hours, and Panayi, who bowled with intelligence and accuracy on his debut, have impacted upon the whole squad, according to Troughton.
“When new players come in, there is a release of energy in the team,” he said. “With youngsters you will sometimes get inconsistent performances but you get guys who are chomping at the bit to go out there every day and enjoy it. That’s great for the team environment and the senior guys can feed off the youngsters as much as the other way round.
"When new players come in, there is a release of energy in the team. With youngsters you will sometimes get inconsistent performances but you get guys who are chomping at the bit to go out there every day and enjoy it."
“For Andrew to have come through under pressure when we were up against it as a team and battle like he did was a great effort and he should take a lot from that. As a batter you have good times and bad times and you have to draw on those good times and that innings will be one Andrew can draw on.
“George held a line and length and picked up wickets, especially with that second new ball, taking those two quick wickets to kill the innings off. It was a good performance from him and his challenge now is to stack that up in the next game and get his head round seeing himself as a genuine all-rounder.”
- Ian Bell (Captain)
- Tim Ambrose (Wicket-Keeper)
- Keith Barker
- Rikki Clarke
- Sam Hain
- Oliver Hannon-Dalby
- Matt Lamb
- George Panayi
- Jeetan Patel
- William Porterfield
- Boyd Rankin
- Sunny Singh
- Jonathan Trott
- Andy Umeed