THE kids just keep on coming at this club – and Durham have hopefully unearthed another gem.
Paul Coughlin’s debut has attracted the headlines for his performance with both the ball, and in particular, the bat.
He was in the team for the game against Lancashire for his bowling ability primarily, but coming in at No 10 he helped put on a record partnership with Phil Mustard and bail us out of a bit of trouble.
He ended up making 85 – top scoring in the process – and then took three Lancashire wickets, including Test players Ashwell Prince and Usman Khawaja.
It’s only a start and there’s a long way to go.
But for Durham, it’s another youngster coming through their Academy which is great to see.
It’s what Durham are trying to achieve and as long as these players can build on their good start then it bodes well for Durham’s future.
Coughlin’s a very laid back kind of character off the pitch, though on the field he often gets intense.
But that’s what you want – you don’t mind your fast bowlers having a little bit of fire in their belly.
He’s a fierce competitor which he showed coming into this game at a tough time and doing well with both bat and ball.
It shows what he’s capable of doing.
It’s always importnat that guys perform well when their backs are against the wall and not just when things are going well.
His performance with the bat may have surprised some people, but we’ve known his ability with the willow.
He can certainly bat, and that was always known, but obviously with the batting line up that Durham has he had to wait until 10 to come in.
But he showed that it doesn’t matter where you bat – if you bat well, you’ll get runs.
It’s great to see him take his chance. In the off-season, Paul was bowling very impressively and it was a pity that early season he picked up a little bit of a niggle so he wasn’t able to feature when he possibly was going to be in consideration.
But now with the injuries to Mark Wood and Graham Onions, it needs somebody to come in and be able to do a decent job.
It shows how important it is that young players keep working hard and take their chance.
Having said that, though, no matter how well somebody does when they come in it’s a massive blow not having Onions around for the last few games.
He can make the difference on so many occasions as we have seen in the past, and I just really hope he comes back to full fitness sooner rather than later.