Giles pleased with young team's determined performance against Somerset
Ashley Giles was pleased with his young side’s determination to match Somerset after conceding a big total when he spoke following the lunchtime abandonment of the Specsavers County Championship match at Emirates Old Trafford today due to rain.
Both Lancashire and Somerset take 10 points from the draw.
“Once they had got 550 on the board it didn’t look like a good toss to win and stick them in,” he said.
“But I thought we played very well to get past the follow-on and we did that pretty comfortably with no shortage of high skill. I thought Alviro (Petersen) played fantastically, and he was well supported all the way down the order. We know we have to play in partnerships with the bat and the ball. You can’t leave it to one man.
“It is a relatively inexperienced batting line up. We had a 19 year-old, a 20 year-old and a 22 year-old as our top three. Some would see that as risky, and it is to some degree, but it bodes well for the future.”
“I thought Livi (Liam Livingstone) played well, and the two openers did a great job to get us off without too many concerns or worries
“It was great for the captain to get some more runs under his belt. He takes on a lot of work; with the gloves, the captaincy, and his batting but he seems to warm to it rather than run away from it. He likes that sort of pressure.
“We know there areas still to improve in but as I just said to the team this is a very strong division.
“We’ve not been made to look silly by anyone. You lose games yes, but we’ve not been absolutely trounced and we have beaten other sides. It’s very competitive and we’ve seen that the whole season.”
Giles also explained the thinking behind the decision to put Somerset in to bat.
“We thought it would flatten out, that’s why we decided to bowl first,” he said. That first morning it was overcast, there was enough there (in the pitch) as in other games this season where we’ve had teams five or six wickets down at lunch. So we thought our best opportunity to get wickets was then. It didn’t work out, and you have to take that on the chin.
“It was a good pitch and we will have to look at that again going forward.
“We have a week off now and there’s cricket to be played elsewhere. We’ll have a look at what happens because a good pitch is what we may need next week.
“Our eyes have got to be firmly on staying up. Of course we want to finish as high as we can. Priority number one is to make sure we maintain our division one status and that will be the first time in three attempts. That’s a good goal to go for right now.
“We’ve got to play two of the best sides in the country so they are going to be tough matches. “
Giles was full of praise for Rob Jones after the way the young batsman reacted to being a makeshift opener in just his second game.
“His temperament is really good,” said Giles. “He just gets stuck in. He’s a Mr. Cricket-type character. He loves being out there and wanders around all day in his Lancashire cap which is great to see. That’s what you want in your squad.
“I thought he handled himself very well. Luke Procter was ill so I asked Jonesy (if he would open the batting) and he just smiled straight away and was completely up for the challenge. So good on him, it was so nice to see.
“That’s not necessarily going to be our opening partnership but to have a 19 year-old and 20 year-old opening the batting for Lancashire is great.
Giles also provided an update on player injuries saying: “I think it’s unlikely that Tom Smith will be available for the Middlesex game. He’s got a sore back so we will monitor his situation.
“Alex Davies won’t play again this season, so Crofty is likely to continue as wicketkeeper.
“We’ve got (second team wicketkeeper) Brooke Guest registered, but Jos (Buttler) might come back. He picked up an injury this week so we will have to check on him. From my understanding it wasn’t too serious so we will be pushing for him to play first but if not it will be Crofty.
Photo (c) Simon Pendrigh