Head coach Ripley believes rock-bottom Northants are in a false position ahead of Sussex trip

Northants head coach David Ripley
Northants head coach David Ripley

Head coach David Ripley insists Northants' performances have been better than their results suggest this season.

The County travel to Sussex for Sunday's Specsavers County Championship Division Two clash sitting rock bottom of the table.

Northants have failed to win any of their seven games to date, the only county without a victory, and they travel south off the back of a rain-affected draw with mid-table Leicestershire.

Ripley felt his team played some good cricket against the Foxes, and also in the previous rain-hit draw at Durham, and he is confident they can get a result at third-placed Sussex.

Although the County are without a win, they have lost only twice, and a win at Hove would see them close the gap significantly on their third-placed hosts.

“The position in the table is obviously not where we want to be and we have had some bad sessions that have cost us,” said Ripley.

“But our general cricket has been better than where we stand in the table.

"We played some pretty good cricket at Durham and against Leicester so I’m confident we can keep that going into Sussex and get that positive result.”

Ripley believes the changing room has been refreshed by the recent change at the helm, with Adam Rossington taking over as skipper following Alex Wakely's decision to step down following the heavy defeat to Glamorgan at the County Ground.

And Ripley said: “Everyone is behind each other, and I think that’s why we’ve seen a response to the Glamorgan defeat in the last two matches.

"Because the decision to change came from Alex, everyone understands and wants to get behind him.

“Alex now wants to become a good senior player in the dressing room scoring runs and he’s got a good start.”

Wakely made 65 and 46 against Leicestershire, two important innings against the new ball following early dismissals for opener Rob Newton.

“I was really pleased for Alex,” said Ripley.

“We know he’s been carrying a heavy burden with the captaincy and he hadn’t been enjoying it so it was great to see him come out and get two important scores.

“Adam continues to grow as a leader. He’s not over-animated but he tries to lead by example. He’s got some decent runs and has been keeping wicket well too.”

Against Leicestershire, South African import Temba Bavuma also made his first half-century for the County, contributing 68 in the second innings.

Ripley is now hoping this can pave the way to a greater haul of runs in the final three matches of his eight-game stint.

“Temba has made some nice promising starts but hasn’t gone on to get a big score yet,” Ripley said.

“He’s working really hard and hitting lots of balls in the nets with David Sales.

"We know he’s an international cricketer but he still wants to prove to everyone what a good player he is.

“I was pleased he got himself a score and he’s still got time to go and get a hundred or two.”

Following the match at Sussex, Northants have four-day matches against Lancashire and Derbyshire before the Vitality T20 Blast kicks in on July 19.