CAPTAIN Jeetan Patel admits that he “couldn’t have asked for much more” from Warwickshire’s players in the opening month of the season.
Warwickshire turn their attention to white-ball cricket this week, and their Royal London One-Day Cup opener at home to Derbyshire on Thursday, buoyed by three successive Specsavers County Championship wins.
Patel’s side sits top of the championship Division Two – and now the skipper wants that confidence to osmose into the 50-over format in which the Bears’ fortunes have fluctuated wildly in the last two years. In 2016 they won the trophy after thrashing Surrey in the final at Lord’s. Last season they finished bottom of the North Group.
“Sport goes in cycles,” Patel said. “Sometimes you get in the cycle of winning, when you win games from nowhere, and we did that in 2016 and won the trophy. Then last year wasn’t our year. That happens.
“This year is a clean slate and we are going into the tournament with a bit of a buzz around the place after the start we have made in the championship.
“The first month of the season was always going to be tough with four championship games and it’s a great position to be in at the top. I couldn’t have asked for much more from the players.
“We’ve had a great start and now the next thing is getting our heads round the 50-over cricket and how the game has changed and how we are going to catch up with it.
“As a team and a squad, we are in a good position with guys starting to believe again.
“There is a real desire among the players to bring success to this great club and there have been some standout individual performances but the key word for me from the start of the season is contributions – everyone is contributing to us getting over the line in games.”
That so many players have contributed is just what a captain wants, although Patel admits that, with so many players vying for selection, he has spent a lot of time with his thinking cap on.
“Team-selection has caused me a lot of headaches so far this season and maybe that has shown in my bowling a little bit, to be honest,” he said.
“But how good is that? To have those issues of who is not going to play, as opposed to who is going to play?”