Marcus Tresothick: Batting against Nottinghamshire was not acceptable
By Western Daily Press | Thursday, September 12, 2013, 05:00
Our performance in Monday's Yorkshire Bank 40 semi-final against Nottinghamshire was not acceptable and I would like to apologise to the Somerset supporters who made the trip to Trent Bridge.
Somerset skipper Marcus Trescothick trudges off head bowed after his dismissal early in the YB40 semi-final against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on Monday PICTURE: STEVE BOND/PINNACLE
It was the worst batting display the team have produced in a big game since I became captain and particularly disappointing in view of what was at stake – a Lord's final.
I would absolve the bowlers of any blame for the eight-wicket defeat as a score of 119 gave them nothing to defend. To be bowled out in 25.4 overs was simply unforgivable in the circumstances.
There was a bit of seam movement early on, but basically it was a decent enough pitch and as a batting unit we got everything wrong.
Some poor shots were played and we didn't adapt to the situation after losing early wickets. We needed a partnership to steady things and it just never materialised.
I know the players well enough to recognise that what happened was not for the lack of trying. But we have to accept that in a match that could have lifted a frustrating season we badly underperformed.
My feeling at the end was one of dejection. I had all the media interviews to do so it was a while before I got back to the dressing room, but we then had a full and frank discussion over what had gone wrong.
What I had to keep in mind was that we had another huge game just two days away, with our place in the LV= County Championship Division One under severe threat and fellow relegation-candidates Surrey coming to Taunton.
There had to be a balance between recognising our deficiencies against Notts and keeping the players as positive as possible for the tasks ahead, not only against Surrey, but in our final Championship game, which co-incidentally takes us back to Trent Bridge.
It sounds like a cliché, but we have not become a bad team overnight. I know the talent that exists in our batting ranks and it is confidence that comes and goes, rather than ability.
We have to retain our self-belief to get the results we need in the last two four-day games. At the end of the season, as always, there will be a lengthy debrief and I can assure our fans that all the pertinent questions will be asked.
That will be the time for everyone, including myself, to examine their contributions to the season with honesty as we look to the future.
What I can say is that I love captaining Somerset as much as I love the club itself and at this point I have no intention of handing over the reins.
I know there are people who have looked at my shortage of runs this season and linked it to the added pressure of being skipper – but I have been doing the job for four seasons now and I don't believe it has any adverse effect on my form.
I enjoy the challenge and it remains my dream to lead the team to the success we all crave.
I can't put my finger on why I have struggled for big scores this summer. But I am not going to use the captaincy as an excuse because I have not felt any different from in previous years. Of course, I get down when things go against us as they did on Monday. If that wasn't the case it would suggest I didn't care.
But I see it as part of my job to keep the dressing room positive and nothing happened at Trent Bridge to alter my conviction that we have a very talented squad of players.
The final two Championship games, the first of which began yesterday, will test our character and the ability to bounce back from a major setback.
Retaining Division One status is hugely-important to us and we certainly cannot afford a repeat of the batting display at Trent Bridge or in the first innings of the Derbyshire match at Taunton.
We fought back really well in that game and, in the end, a superb game of cricket could have gone either way. But the damage was done by not scoring enough first innings runs and that has been the case too often this season.
I can understand the frustration of our supporters over a season, which certainly has not gone according to plan, but we need them more than ever over the next couple of weeks and I would ask them to stay behind the team as we strive to avoid relegation.
INTERVIEW: RICHARD LATHAM