Chris Rushworth: New competition offers Durham a chance to refresh

The Royal London Cup gives Durham an opportunity to clear our minds after this week's defeat to Warwickshire

Durham v Warwickshire
Durham v Warwickshire

No one likes to lose but you have to hold your hand up and say Durham were completely outplayed by Warwickshire this week. They batted better and bowled us out twice in just under two days.

It was really disappointing from our perspective, but all we can do is go away and improve.

We don’t play again in the County Championship until we visit Old Trafford on August 15, so we have to make sure we come back fighting.

It’s a long time without any four-day cricket and there are two ways of looking at it.

Some people might prefer to jump straight back on the horse but we have to have a break now and we can hopefully use it to refresh ourselves and put the skills needed for the longer form of the game to the back of our minds.

Durham are in Twenty20 action against Northants tonight, but the next phase of our season will be an exciting one.

It’s about four years since I last played 50-over cricket and that format hasn’t been used at county level since 2009.

This year’s Royal London Cup matches are being played in one block, starting for us a week on Sunday at Taunton.

The players will be glad of that because it’s been very difficult switching from four-day to Twenty20 cricket in the space of a few days.

The one or two days off between them would usually be spent one day travelling with the other a rest day, but this year we have to use it to try and nail down our t20 skills. Over these next four weeks there’s going to be a lot more time for practice and preparation.

In previous years we’ve played 40-over cricket, so this means two more overs for the bowlers, and a new ball at either end to work with.

I’m really looking forward to it. Domestic cricket will mirror the international game and that’s the way it should be.

It will be interesting to see what sort of teams counties go in with, and where their priorities lie but, even though it’s a change of format, I would expect the same sides to be strong.

Somerset, Nottinghamshire, Sussex and Essex are always there or thereabouts in the one-day competitions. Yorkshire seem to have a strong side too.

In the last few years Durham’s one-day cricket has really improved too and I’m hoping we can make our mark on the new competition.

It was nice to see Ben Stokes back in an England shirt last week and I’m just hoping he has another chance at Lord’s today.

Ben didn’t make many runs, but he didn’t let himself down with the ball at Trent Bridge.

I feel sorry for England’s bowlers with the flat pitches they’ve been served up this year. I’m hearing the Lord’s groundsman has produced a greener track for this game and I hope that is the case.

It would be good for Test cricket for this match to produce a positive result whoever wins it, because the last Test wasn’t very exciting.

England shouldn’t be afraid to produce a pitch which suits our seam bowlers.

Home advantage makes a massive difference and I don’t see why you shouldn’t use it. I’m pretty sure India do when we play there.

The whole point of Test cricket is you should play on different surfaces across the world and England’s attack is still one of the best there is when the ball is seaming.

Also read:

Durham v Warwickshire, Day Three: Nothing sweet about Durham surrender

Durham's failings not allowing match to fall flat just yet

Durham toss their opening-day advantage away against Warwickshire

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer