Middlesex cricket column: Opening up with Dawid Malan
15:14 13 August 2014
After a mixed week in the Royal London Cup we need to win our last two games against Notts and Kent to have any hope of qualifying.
We are playing catch-up because at the beginning of the competition Joey was struggling for runs and Paul Stirling was injured, so we were playing a young side and we seemed to mess up at crucial times.
We saw it against Somerset when we lost three stupid wickets in the power-play that stopped us getting the extra runs to put them under pressure in reply. As it was, the game nearly went to the last over, so even 15 extra runs may have made the difference.
It was the same against Warwickshire earlier in the competition, where we were cruising to the target, lost two or three wickets quickly and ended up losing by four runs.
We have missed Gareth Berg as well, as we have needed a fourth seamer and a batting option. If you play an out-and-out fourth seam bowler you become light in the batting so we have relied heavily on Dexy, who has been brilliant for five or six overs – but you need someone for 10 overs who can extract something extra out of a pitch.
I don’t think we have played a one-day game against Notts since 2008, not even in T20, so we don’t know much about their one-day bowling attack. They are a bit of an unknown to us in that sense – as we are to them.
We’ll have to win without Ravi, who is away with the England Lions. He is probably one of the best spinners in the country now. He is young so does not have the stats to back up his talent yet, but he looks to have everything for international cricket.
Moeen Ali has done well for England so he will stay in the Test side for a while now. But Ravi is a very good bowler who believes in himself and if he does well with the Lions he could get his chance in a one-day format.