Manchester Evening News' Chris Ostick on Lancashire's 2017 season
We caught up with Manchester Evening News' cricket reporter Chris Ostick on his thoughts on Lancashire's 2017 season.
Find out what he's had to say.
Overall thoughts on the season?
I don’t think anybody would have had Lancashire finishing second in the Specsavers County Championship. I certainly didn’t and whilst I wasn’t tipping them to be relegation candidates, like many were at the start of the season, I didn’t think they would be challenging for the title like they did.
I think they’ll be disappointed with the white ball campaigns and not getting out of the group stages in either competitions, particularly the NatWest T20 Blast where Lancashire have been so strong in the last ten years or so.
Overall, I think it’s been a good first season for Glen Chapple and a good foundation to build on ahead of next season which could be an exciting year.
On Alex Davies
He’s been at the Club for so long, but in many ways I think this has been his breakthrough year. He’s shown what he can do at the top of the order having gone to Glen Chapple and asked to bat higher than just six or seven like most wicket keepers. There are plenty tipping him to be England’s next wicket keeper and you can see why. It was just reward being called up to the England Lions squad.
Particularly with what he’s gone though in the last 18 months with his knee injury, the operations, all the rehab, he’s been superb. Chapple has got a decision to make about the opening batsmen next year with Keaton Jennings signing for the Club.
His wicket keeping has been outstanding too and it’s getting better and better. You very rarely see him miss any stumping’s or drop catches.
On Glen Chapple’s first season?
He’s got the respect of the players and of the Members too which is important. He’s shown what he can do and this year he’s got the winter to plan ahead for next season which he didn’t have with Ashley Giles leaving at Christmas in 2016.
He’s already made two impressive signings too in Keaton Jennings and Graham Onions and the players look up to him, and Mark Chilton. Chapple commands the respect of everyone at the Club after what he’s achieved in his magnificent playing career. After all, he did lead the side to the County Championship title in 2011.
On the competitive County Championship
I can’t think of another sport that has a top division so cut throat with two being relegated from just nine teams. Winning in the County Championship is not easy and that makes Essex’s success story so amazing in many ways.
Going into the final game, only Essex and Lancashire were safe from relegation and that shows just how competitive the division is. Every game from the first to the last is so important.
On Haseeb Hameed
He’s not had a good year, but he showed in the last few games of the season, he was getting back to where he was last year before getting injured.
He’s got the temperament and I think England are desperate to pick him. He just didn’t score the runs this year. He had such a good year last year and followed that up with his performances in India and I’m backing him to have a good start to the season in 2018 and win back his England place.
You can follow Chris Ostick on Twitter by clicking here.
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