Thoughts of the Season: BBC's Scott Read
Scott Read on Lancashire's 2017 season
Following Lancashire’s impressive season in the Specsavers County Championship, we caught up with BBC Radio Manchester and BBC Radio Lancashire’s commentator Scott Read to get his thoughts on the 2017 season as well as his take on the Red Rose’s batting order next summer.
Take a look at our interview below with Scott Read.
It’s been a big improvement on last year and the quality of cricket has been much better under Glen Chapple in 2017. If we compare it to twelve months ago, Lancashire won the first three games in the Specsavers County Championship in 2016 and didn’t win again and pretty much stumbled over the line.
They look like a much more competitive side this year in the County Championship and it’s a team that belongs in Division One. I’m not sure that was the case twelve months ago.
I honestly think staying up in Division One is an achievement in itself. Essex have been fantastic, but you just have to look at Middlesex, Champions in 2016 and this year they’ve been relegated.
Overall, I think Lancashire supporters will be pretty pleased, but they’ll be looking for improvement in the white-ball competitions next year.
I think Glen’s coaching style has been quite interesting to look at from the outside over the course of this season. It is much more player led and the responsibility is on them. Obviously the coaching staff are there to support but he wants the changing room almost to run itself.
I think there have been a couple of players have had been very good. Alex Davies has been very impressive with the bat, but also with the gloves. He has been outstanding at the top of the order all season long. He hit three very impressive centuries, but it was the 97 he hit at Hampshire which was the best I’ve seen him play. He just found a way on a pitch that was turning square and he just took on the seamers. It’s not been easy with Haseeb at the other end who has struggled this season.
Ryan McLaren was an inspired signing at the start of the year. I think Lancashire has missed having a genuine all-rounder in the last couple of years with Tom Smith struggling and the retiring through injury. He’s done both jobs in the side brilliantly and has clearly been a leader in the changing room too. He’ll be a big miss next year.
Batting order next year
It’s going to fascinating to see how Lancashire’s top order pans out next year with Haseeb Hameed, Alex Davies, Liam Livingstone and Keaton Jennings. Who will bat where?
It’s great that Lancashire have got them and they’ll all be desperate to score big runs because there are going to be England places up for grabs you’d imagine so there’s a real opportunity for all four of them.
On Haseeb Hameed
He had a pretty tough season and was really unlucky with injury. Going back to when he broke his finger in India last winter when he had made such a good first impression in incredibly challenging conditions.
The first half of the season was a struggle, but towards the end of the season, there was light at the end of the tunnel. You could see him getting back to playing the way we saw him in 2016 where he hit four centuries.
The knock at Hampshire was a big moment for him and you could see him getting more and more confident, but then to break his finger on the other hand at Lord’s at the end of the season must have been so frustrating for him.
NatWest T20 Blast in 2017
I really fancied Lancashire to do well in the NatWest T20 Blast but it just didn’t quite happen for them. With Jos Buttler available for the who competition and Junaid Khan in the side having done well in the ICC Champions Trophy, I was really backing them.
North group is so competitive and the margins are so small and Lancashire have found themselves on the wrong side more often than not over the last two years.
From the players and coaches perspective, it’s been good to have the NatWest T20 Blast in a block as it gives them the chance to just focus in on white ball cricket. It’s hard to chop and change between formats and I think it works.
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