Middlesex cricket column: Opening Up – with Dawid Malan
07:30 29 May 2014
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That rivalry with Surrey always seems to get us going, so let’s hope we can get our Twenty20 campaign up and running on Friday.
Surrey have always been a good side in white-ball cricket, so we’re going to have to be right on the money when we arrive at The Oval, which I feel is an awesome place to play.
It’s one of my favourite grounds – not just because of the wicket or what I’ve done there in the past – but also because there’s usually a packed house and an unbelievable atmosphere.
So it’s something we can look forward to, even though there’s no denying that we haven’t been very good in our Twenty20 games so far and we’ve only got ourselves to blame.
In all four of our games we’ve lost a crucial batch of six overs, either with bat or ball. That’s been the case whether it’s setting a target or chasing, bowling first or bowling second.
With that said, I think it’s true that the stop-start nature of the schedule this year is far from ideal. It feels like you’re playing a club game on a Saturday, to be honest.
You don’t have any time to work on your Twenty20 skills, then suddenly you’re playing a game on the Friday night or Saturday and then a four-day game again the next day.
In the past you’d play a few games, gradually work things out and it’d click towards the middle of the tournament. Now you can’t reflect and try and rectify things because you’ve got a four-day match straight away.
That makes it very hard to get any rhythm going. Teams that win early in the competition have self-belief and momentum, so we’re going to have to dig deep and bring about a massive improvement.
We’re still trying to win every single game and, being realistic, if we can win seven out of the next 10, we might still have a chance – if we want it badly enough.