Ripley demands a big reaction as Steelbacks prepare for Rapids showdown

Steelbacks head coach David Ripley is demanding a reaction from his players when they resume their Vitality T20 Blast Central Group campaign against Worcestershire Rapids at the County Ground on Tuesday night (6.30pm start).

By Jeremy Casey
Tuesday, 15th September 2020, 10:58 am
Northants Steelbacks head coach David Ripley
Northants Steelbacks head coach David Ripley

Ripley is still smarting from his side's seven-wicket defeat at Glamorgan on Sunday where Northants were bowled out for just 97 in 17.2 overs, before being seen off with 24 balls to spare.

The head coach said his immediate emotion in the aftermath of the defeat was one of anger, but he now admits that on reflection he feels that although his team could muster such a lowly total was a 'dismal' effort, he did have some sympathy for his players.

Sunday was not a great way for Ripley to celebrate his 54th birthday, and asked how he can explain his team turning in such a performance, he said: "Initially you tend to go to a bit of anger about the performance and the result, but I have had time to reflect on the batting particularly.

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"Not batting out your overs and not getting 100 is pretty dismal, but when I studied all of the dismissals there weren't that many where you could talk about recklessness or poor options.

"Richard (Levi) just missed one while he was defending, Paul (Stirling) hits one into his pad and then he slips over, Alex Wakely kicks the ball and then bats it back to bowler.

"Then you have Adam Rossington, who is our best puller, nicks a pull shot which was there to pull, and we have a few dismissals you don't see every day of the week, and we had Luke Procter trying to run one down to third man and he chops on to his stumps.

"We weren't guilty of recklessness and poor decision making, and once you have reflected on that it kind of suggests it was a combination of us not being very good, but also things not running for us on the day.

"That said, I was disappointed with our two overs of seam up front, because it looked difficult against their seam bowlers when we were batting because it was not a belting pitch.

"I think if we had got 130 then it could have made it a good game of cricket.

"As it was, our two first overs of seam when for 29 runs, and if they had gone for 10 runs then we could have squeezed them."

There was no post-match reaction from the Northants camp on Sunday as the players and management locked themselves away in the dressing room, with Ripley concerned about a lack of intensity from his team.

He believes the previous week's disruption to the squad's plans in the wake of the Covid-19 case in the camp could have played a part in Friday's defeat to Gloucestershire, but that shouldn't have stretched into the weekend.

"We had a good chat about it afterwards, and there is a general feeling that our intensity wasn't quite where we want it to be, it wasn't the same as when we started he competition," said Ripley.

"Although we could have an excuse or two around Friday's game, two games in it wasn't good enough and there was some honesty about that.

"I know I am expecting us to be a lot busier and showing a lot more intent in our all round game when we play Worcestershire tonight. We are looking for a response to that performance on Sunday.

"It is about individual responsibility now, and for us as a coaching team to make sure there is no hiding place for that now. We have to be calling each other out on it.

"Sunday wasn't a 'the wheels are off' moment, it was just 'come on lads, we are not quite at the level we were'.

"It was some of the small things and the individual responsility of making sure you are right on it yourself."