MATCH PREVIEW: Lancashire v Surrey
PREVIEW: Lancashire v Surrey, Specsavers County Championship
Lancashire v Surrey
Emirates Old Trafford
Friday 27 – Monday 30 April
Specsavers County Championship
2018 SO FAR
Mark Chilton has called for consistency from Lancashire’s players as they bid to arrest a disappointing start to the new summer, starting against Surrey at Emirates Old Trafford tomorrow.
The Red Rose assistant coach says there has been no overreaction to two defeats from two in the Specsavers County Championship given there has been some good cricket played.
Chilton has spoken of the competitive nature of Division One and how last season’s second-placed finish guaranteed nothing in terms of success in 2018. But the former batsman is confident of a quick turnaround and with it a move up to the right end of the table.
“We'll try not to overreact too much to two defeats in the first two games and stick together as a unit and identify the things we've done really well,” he said. "But, after defeats, you have to look at areas where you have to improve.
"I don't think the players will need picking up as such. I think it's more recognising, like we said before the first game, what a competitive league this is. Having finished second last year and played a lot of good cricket, it quickly brings you straight back down to earth. And we've done that in pretty grand style after the first two games.
"We all know the quality that some of those guys have got. They've been on England Lions trips this year, and they are good players.
“The one area we were slightly concerned with before the first game, we hadn't had the group together for very long. Whether that's been an issue or not has been difficult to tell. This side is just starting to settle down, and that's one area where we're aware where everyone's at. We'll work hard to be ready for Friday.”
Lancashire’s batting has been the area which has let them down in matches against Nottinghamshire at home and Essex away.
"The first day (at Essex) was difficult, and there were wickets falling all around the country,” continued Chilton.
“We've got to be careful we don't dive in because a lot of our players have played a lot of good cricket over the winter and the last summer.
"As a coach, you give it quite a lot of thought because you don't want to go jumping in too soon with regards to people's form. The wickets have been quite tricky. I've never seen a wicket at Emirates Old Trafford move as much as it did against Notts.
"I think, when you analyse it closely, there are areas (to improve). You've got to maintain your discipline on length when you're batting. With Jamie Porter and Peter Siddle, you have two guys who don't miss length that often. As soon as you make a mistake, you're in a bit of trouble.
"I've been happy with the way people have been playing in practice. That's all you can do as coaches, make sure you prepare players as best as you can to give themselves the best chance of performing.”
Surrey have played one, won one, beating Hampshire at the Kia Oval in the most recent round of matches, with 20-year-old Ollie Pope starring with a career best 145, his second century in seven first-class matches. Their early season overseas player is South Africa batsman Dean Elgar.
They are captained by Rory Burns, who will open the batting with England Test left-hander Mark Stoneman.
"Surrey had a good game against Hampshire at the weekend, so they will be fairly confident,” added Chilton.
"I think all teams are evenly matched. You can players out in every team who you think will present challenges and issues for you as a team. Porter at Essex, for example.
"It's about us getting our things right and identifying the areas where we need to be a bit more clinical. I think our catching has been excellent, which is a positive. I just think we have to find ways of staying in the game for longer."
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