Batting coach Sadler tells the Steelbacks to carry on attacking

"We are never going to stop them playing their shots because they are match winners, all of them, and that is how it goes sometimes"

Saturday, 12th June 2021, 10:32 am
Adam Rossington has just been bowled by Ish Sodhi (Picture: Peter Short)

Batting coach John Sadler wants the Steelbacks top order to carry on attacking in the Vitality T20 Blast despite the disappointment of Friday night's 32-run defeat to Worcestershire Rapids.

Chasing 186 to win, Northants' top order opted for their trademark aggressive approach in the opening six-over powerplay, but it ultimately backfired as they were reduced to 52 for four.

Richard Levi went first ball of the innings, connecting sweetly with a square drive that was superbly caught at point by Brett D'Oliveira, with Ricardo Vasconcelos pulling to Ross Whiteley on the boundary a few balls later.

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Josh Cobb smashed 29 from 10 balls before he was caught trying to go over the top, before Adam Rossington, who had played a series of sweet drives through the covers, was bowled as he tried to sweep leg-spinner Ish Sodhi's first ball of the innings.

That left the Steelbacks well and truly up against it, and they never recovered as they stumbled to 153 for nine, despite the efforts of Saif Zaib late on with the left-hander making an entertaining 36 from just 21 balls.

"We lost a wicket first ball which is never ideal, but on another day that ball is going to fly for four and we are off and running," said Sadler.

"I thought Cobby and Rosso played brilliantly to get us back on track, and then in the last over of the powerplay Cobby got out, and then Rosso on the first ball of the seventh and the game changes very quickly.

"We went from 50 for two to 50 for four or whatever it was, but that is how they play.

"We are never going to stop them playing their shots because they are match winners, all of them, and that is how it goes sometimes.

"You have to stay level, take the rough with the smooth, and we will come back Sunday and go again."

Asked if he felt one or two of the batters might have got carried away with the situation, Sadler said: "As a coach you can't pat somebody on the back and tell them how good they are when they do well, and then jump down their throat when they don't do quite so well.

"You have to try and take more of a balanced view on it.

"Some days it will work and some days it won't, but we back all of those top order batsmen to fire more often than not."

The fact the Steelbacks were chasing such a large total was also something of a frustration, as a patchy bowling performance allowed the Rapids to make 185 for seven.

But Sadler believes things will improve in all areas as the team gets into the swing of the competition, as he felt Worcestershire benefitted from having played their first match on Wednesday night..

"We possibly let them get a few too many, there were a few extras in there with a couple of four wides down the leg side and they can hurt you a bit," he said.

"But it was our first game out, the skills will get sharper, we will get more efficient, and I did think it makes a difference when you have already played a game.

"Worcester looked a little bit sharper than we did, but there is no need to panic.

"They probably did get 10 or 15 too many, but that is the game."

Pick of the bowlers were Ben Sanderson (3-21) and Tom Taylor (3-33), and Sadler felt there were other positives as well.

"I thought Ben and Tom bowled well, and I thought Parney (Wayne Parnell) did as well, but his figures (0-42) didn't quite reflect that," he said.

"Cobby did well also, so there are some really good positives to take from this game, but there is nothing quite like match sharpness."

The Steelbacks are back in action on Sunday afternoon when they entertain reigning champions Notts Outlaws at the County Groiund (4.15pm).

Notts have yet to win a game, having tied their opener against the Rapids on Wednesday and then losing to Birmingham Bears at Trent Bridge on Friday night.