Batting depth all part of Ripley’s plan

Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley has admitted that the depth in the side’s batting order is not a coincidence.

LATE RUNS - David Willey pictured during his innings of 76 against Essex (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)
LATE RUNS - David Willey pictured during his innings of 76 against Essex (Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

On the second day of the County Championship with Essex the final two wickets put on a massive 228 for the hosts, turning a potential deficit or small advantage into a relatively huge first innings lead.

“It’s something that isn’t by chance.

“The players we recruit, like Steven (Crook) we knew offered an allround package and Trent (Copeland) can obviously bat.

Northampton Northants v Essex, County Championship, County Ground, Wantage Road, Northampton. Steven Crooks.

“The priority is obviously to take 20 wickets and they’re here mainly to do that and we know that that kind of thing isn’t going to happen every week but if it does two or three times a year then it’s a bonus.

“Our recruitment was based a bit on one-day cricket but we knew that Steven wanted to play more in the four-day cricket so we knew that if he was one of our seam bowlers then he would offer with the bat.

“Trent’s a bit of a bonus and he was disappointed, rightly so, to be batting number 11 as he scored a first-class hundred in the Australian summer.”

But with players of that kind of ability occupying the lower places in the order, there will inevitably be issues where individuals’ expectations come into play.

And that is something that Ripley is well aware of, saying: “It’s a nice problem to have, trying to fit them all in and the only thing we’ve had to work on is making sure they go out to bat with the right kind of mentality and not just having a swing because they’re 10 or 11.

“The important thing is that they sell themselves dearly and you saw that today.”

“The situation needs a bit of managing to keep them all happy and get the best out of them and it’s my job to try and do that.”