EXCLUSIVE: Chris Silverwood on the season's aims
WE return to County Championship action on Saturday with a trip to Chelmsford to face Essex still looking for our first league win of the season. We drew our first three league games, against Glamorgan, Leicestershire and Surrey, but I ll settle for that
WE return to County Championship action on Saturday with a trip to Chelmsford to face Essex still looking for our first league win of the season.
We drew our first three league games, against Glamorgan, Leicestershire and Surrey, but I'll settle for that as we have something like 10 back-to-back championship games at the end of the season.
We keep saying promotion to the top flight is our top priority - and it is - but to do so we have to play consistent cricket.
The second division is very competitive and of course we would love to be playing in the top division.
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But over the past few seasons we have not been consistent enough.
Essex are a decent team but they are probably stronger as a one day side than a four day outfit so we've got to take advantage of that.
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After all my personal doom and gloom of last season with injuries I'm fully fit now and can't wait to play four-day cricket again.
We have a much younger squad this season and there are areas where we have to improve.
Bowling-wise we have to improve our length and line, not just keep banging it down but getting it in areas that makes it as difficult as possible for opposing batsman.
We have made a woeful start in defence of our Twenty20 Cup, losing the first four matches. But we've had so many players missing - Owais Shah and Eoin Morgan are with the England World Cup Twenty20 squad this week - and we are still without the injured Tim Murtagh.
Indeed, there is little comparison between the team that won the cup so thrillingly last summer and our current squad.
Tim's been a big loss and there's no Dirk Nannes and Ed Joyce, who have both left. Any team would miss players like Nannes and Joyce.
We also had the services of Australian Philip Hughes for the first five or six weeks of the season and what a fabulous little player he is - what an entertainer.
He is just a very good player and there are very few players who cuts the ball as well as he does.
We also squeezed through to the knock-out stages of the Friends Provident Trophy but on the day we were massive underdogs against Hampshire at the Rose Bowl - and were well beaten in the quarter-final.
As I said the team this season is packed with youngsters and some of them will have to step up to the plate - none more so than Dubliner Eoin Morgan.
Eoin, I feel, has come of age. His talent has been recognised by England and he's already played in a full one-day international and is now in the squad for the Twenty20 World Cup, which gets under way at Lord's on Friday.
For me, Eoin is the complete package and I hope he gets his chance with England.
It is not a gamble to play him.
He is a very good batsman and deserves his chance. People in the game have known about him and his wonderful shot-making.
Eoin is now known to a wider audience, thanks to his brilliant innings a few weeks ago live on Sky and also on YouTube.
He is a more responsible player now and is looked upon as one of the senior players.