13th June 2018

Welch: “Great collective effort from bowlers”

Warwickshire bowling coach Graeme Welch has saluted "a great collective effort" from his bowlers which has helped the team to a flying start in the Specsavers County Championship despite several injury blows.

After five championship matches, the last four of which they have won to lead the Division Two table, the Bears boast some impressive bowling stats.

Henry Brookes and Jeetan Patel lead the wicket-taking list with 20 at 19.00 and 26.85 runs apiece respectively while Olly Stone heads the averages with 15 at 12.40 apiece and Ryan Sidebottom has taken ten at 13.50.

"Our experienced players have done their job brilliantly and young Henry has come in and really embraced first-class cricket."

Graeme Welch

Stone and Sidebottom have been restricted by injuries to two championship games each so far which means that a heavy workload has fallen on the only ever-present in the seam attack, Chris Wright.

Though Wright's 14 wickets have cost 36.93 apiece, he has played a crucial role as the engine-room of the attack. The 32-year-old has bowled 149.3 overs (more than 30 more than any other seamer) taken wickets at important times, often just before intervals, and helped build pressure which has led to his team-mates harvesting some spectacular analyses at the other end.

"It has been a great collective effort by the bowlers," said Welch. "We've had injuries with Olly Stone and Keith Barker having hamstrings and Ryan Sidebottom getting a side-strain, but Henry has come in and done really well, Keith has come back in and the lads have all dovetailed well.

"They have all taken responsibility and shared the wickets round but the one person I would pick out is Chris Wright. He has bowled really well all year. He hasn't had the rewards but he has kept going and will get his rewards soon. He picked up important wickets in Glamorgan's second innings in the last game and that's what he has been doing all season - a great job for the team.

"From all the bowlers there have been some monumental spells when pitches have gone quiet and some important wickers taken. I am really happy with where we are. Our experienced players have done their job brilliantly and young Henry has come in and really embraced first-class cricket. He is getting a little bit tired now, having played four championship games and seven games in the Royal London, so might need a little bit of a rest at some point but he's done a great job, as they all have."

Welch is pleased with the work of the bowling unit - though believes there is still plenty of scope for improvement.

"There are still things we can work on," he said. "One of my remits is for the bowlers to be going at under three an over in the championship. At the moment only Jeets is doing that so that is something to work on. We are under three-and-a-half, which is decent, but there is room for improvement there."

Kent v Warwickshire

It's first versus second in the Bears next Specsavers County Championship match of the 2018 season, when they take on Kent at the Nevill Ground in Tunbridge Wells, starting on Wednesday 20 June.

For further ticket and event details, please visit the Kent website.

Kent CCC Website