Northants batsman Duckett backed to rediscover his best form

Ben Duckett has endured a difficult start to the season (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Ben Duckett has endured a difficult start to the season (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Northants skipper Alex Wakely has backed Ben Duckett to get back to his best sooner rather than later.

Duckett has endured a difficult start to the season, scoring just 69 runs in six County Championship Division Two innings.

He was playing club cricket last Saturday, featuring for Buckingham Town in their Home Counties Premier Cricket League Division Two game at Amersham, but opener Duckett was only able to score four runs from six balls.

The 23-year-old has also found it tough in the formative stages of the Royal London One-Day Cup, with a hugely unfortunate dismissal against Durham on Sunday the latest in a line of disappointments.

He has only registered 37 runs in four 50-over matches so far, having excelled in the competition a couple of seasons ago, when he racked up 443 runs, averaging 63.

However, Wakely believes his team-mate will regain that kind of form in the not too distant future.

The captain said: "He doesn’t suddenly become a bad player.

"He’ll come back no doubt.

"Mentally he is okay, it’s a very isolated game, cricket, when it’s not going well.

"He’s a good kid and he’ll turn it around soon.”

Duckett's next chance to find some form comes at Edgbaston as Northants face Warwickshire in a televised One-Day Cup clash on Wednesday (start time 2pm).

It will be the first of three matches in five days for the County, who have won two and lost two in the North Group so far.

“We just haven’t quite clicked so far in this competition,” said Wakely.

“We’ve played some decent cricket and beaten a couple of very good sides (Nottinghamshire and Lancashire) but now we have it all to do.

"We’ve probably got to win three more games to definitely get through. There’s no reason why we can’t do that - the side we’ve got is very good.

“It’s pretty frustrating and disappointing because we should have won all four games so far.

"We’re not far away from it and we need to produce our best cricket pretty quickly because this competition can quickly slip away from you.”

Northants have struggled to finish well with the ball when bowling first.

In three efforts so far, in the final five overs of the innings Leicestershire made 44 runs and Lancashire and Durham 46 - the former and latter being decisive late bursts.

“We have struggled with our death bowling over the last few years but we have worked on it,” said Wakely.

“I do think we have the right plans in place but we’re just not executing it properly.

"We’re not far away but we’re probably giving away 10-15 too many late on at the moment.

“With the bat what we’ve talked about is someone bringing the stump in, so getting a big hundred, being not out at the end and we haven’t had that.

“It’s the inconsistency that is so Northants.

"We haven’t had anyone that has grabbed the game - that special over that wins you the game. If we’re going to be more consistent we have to have guys doing that.

"If you look at the best one-day sides over the last few years, they find a way to win.

“We’ve played some really good cricket over the last three years in this competition but with nothing to show for it.”