Middlesex skipper Voges rues bowlers’ lack of form after Durham draw

Only 14 balls were possible on the fourth day of Durham's Emirates Riverside clash with Middlesex. Picture by Stu Norton
Only 14 balls were possible on the fourth day of Durham's Emirates Riverside clash with Middlesex. Picture by Stu Norton
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Middlesex skipper Adam Voges believes the last two days have been tough on his side, but he admitted that his bowlers “haven’t started well” this season.

The Australian international believes the pitch at Chester-le-Street – for the drawn Specsavers County Championship clash with Durham – was better than what they expected, and to put a big total on the board in the first innings was “very satisfying”.

“We sort of rocked up the day before the game and found a pitch that was better looking than what we expected,” he said.

“It was a little bit of a risk to win the toss and bat first, but the way our openers applied themselves on the opening morning was very good.

“To put a total on the board was very satisfying, although none of our batsmen, who got starts, went on to get hundreds which we would have liked.”

Middlesex, like Durham, have now drawn both of their opening County Championship matches, and Voges stated that, despite the frustration with the weather, the team hasn’t been good enough in the bowling department so far.

“We certainly haven’t started well with the ball in any of our games so far, and that is something we have identified to improve on,” Voges said.

“You want to try get as much cricket in as you possibly can, although it is freezing temperatures, it wasn’t much fun that second day, but you can’t control the weather.

“This time of the year up here, I haven’t played too many games where we haven’t been weather affected.”

Voges was left with a “tough decision” on whether to include James Franklin or Paul Stirling in the side to face Durham, in the end he went with the latter, but it may well be the other way around for their game against Hampshire.

He added: “It was a tough decision to leave him (James Franklin) out this game to be honest, we felt that as an all-round option, we needed a spinning option rather than a seam option.

“That is where (Paul) Stirling came in, I thought he did a terrific job with the ball, he went at only two an over, and also created a few opportunities. He also batted well to get 40.

“We will go down to Southampton and have another tough decision to make.”