Coach Ripley praises work of potent County attack

Steven Crook has settled comfortably into the County's bowling attack since his move from Middlesex
Steven Crook has settled comfortably into the County's bowling attack since his move from Middlesex

Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley has admitted that he is delighted with the way his bowlers have started the year.

And Ripley said that there was a bit of thought given to the make-up of the quartet, especially with regards to the overseas player.

He said: “It wasn’t a big plan as such but with Trent (Copeland) we actively went looking for someone with his kind of strengths.

“We wanted someone who was accurate with a good record and who stacked up the overs and Trent certainly does that.

“With Steve (Crook) we wanted a bit of a cutting edge to replace Jack Brooks and he’s provided that.”

Copeland has been the least productive of the four with just three wickets but Ripley says that doesn’t paint the entire picture.

He added: “It’s not like he’s only bowled 10 overs here or there.

“He’s bowled more than anyone else, he’s bowled a lot of hard overs into the wind and he’s looked a threat in every spell.

“He’s doesn’t go for many runs which provides pressure and I think that a big haul is around the corner.”

Another plus point has been the form of Andrew Hall.

The South African, who has had his share of injury problems in the recent past, has been fit and bowling his quota which has given the side a better balance in terms of its make-up.

Ripely said: “He’s a clever, skilful bowler and having (David) Murphy up to the stumps has added another dimension.

“He’s been fit and touch wood he can stay like that.”

The decision by the home side to have first use of the pitch upon winning the toss could be viewed as a bit of a gamble given what transpired but Ripely said that his side’s brains trust had been in two minds.

“It was a good toss to lose,” he said.

“We were a bit undecided and it came down to overhead conditions. If it was sunny then we would’ve batted but because it was overcast we bowled first.”