I’M cold. It’s day two of Essex 2s first three-day game of the year and I’m wearing five layers.
But it’s my first proper game in eight months and I’m very happy to be involved again. Sitting in the warm bar upstairs at Billericay Cricket Club, I find myself reflecting on what was a very good draw for my colleagues against Lancashire.
As a bowler, I was very pleased to see young Aaron Beard get a chance and do well. He bowled with decent pace and swung the ball consistently throughout the game. Simon Harmer also bowled exceptionally well - only conceding 59 from his 20 overs.
One thing which let the side down and got Lancashire back into the game was Lancs’ final wicket stand of 51.
Our fielding in both innings - especially the second was poor - and we will be doing all we can to make that right as you have to take your chances on flat wickets as they can be a very rare occurrence.
Obviously a massive stand out was the honking kid Dan Lawrence and his mammoth four session defence which saw him reach an unbeaten 141 off 333 balls at the close of play.
He had great partners in Tom Westley, Ryan ten Doeschate and Simon Harmer towards the end.
Lawrence is definitely one to watch for the summer as he will feature in all formats.
Looking ahead to the next fixture against Somerset at Taunton - the big question on my mind is will it spin?
And, if it does, will the squad change at all? Would Essex play another spinner and drop a batsman? Or will Alastair Cook be available and result in a batter being dropped?
There are a lot of possibilities for this game. There is no doubt it will be another tough test for Essex in Division One but on we will be confident of competing and hopeful of getting our first win of the year!