Kent were on Sky Sports for the first time this season on Monday, but our performance against Middlesex was the sort we all quickly wanted to forget after being thumped by 80 runs.
After going into the game with five straight wins, three of them in the Friends Provident Trophy, we were all a bit subdued afterwards. I guess we hadn’t seen that sort of performance coming, especially at home.
Rob Key, the Kent captain, spoke to us all in the dressing room afterwards and told us not to let the performance or the day get us down because we’d all had a fantastic 14 days going into that match.
It was a bit of a tired performance, if I’m honest. I think we would all have loved a couple of days off going into the tie because the schedule seems to have been non-stop since the season started.
That said, I also believe it’s right that we also acknowledge that both Eoin Morgan, England’s new one-day batting selection, and Nick Compton scored amazingly good hundreds. You have to give credit to their skills.
Indeed, I don’t think I’ll see too many knocks better than Morgan’s 161 in my entire career. It was that good.
There is bound to be more focus on Eoin now he’s in the England squad, and this innings was no fluke. He’s practiced those flicks, paddles and reverse sweeps all winter, and pre-season, and it’s already earned him a massive reward.
Morgan showed a lot of people, especially as it was on TV, what he’s capable of doing with a bat in his hands. These switch hits and paddles are relatively new strokes coming into the modern game, and you can’t just go out in the middle one day and try them; you have to practice them and hone them before you dare give them a go. The evidence, already, is that Eoin executes really well what he’s practiced.
As for my own batting form, that’s pretty decent right now and I’m generally very happy with my game. What I’ve just said about Eoin applies equally to me, in that the hard work put in during the winter should pay dividends once the season starts.
I set out my stall in the close-season to bat at No 3 in our Championship side and I’ve made a good start with hundreds against Northamptonshire and Glamorgan.
Most important to me is that I feel relaxed and still at the crease. If your head and eyes are still, then you get a better view on the ball when it’s released.
The injury to Darren Stevens (broken finger) has also allowed me to go in higher up the order for one-day stuff and the way I’m playing I’d like to think I can keep that No 4 position too.
I will sometimes get in during the first 15 overs, and maybe when the spinners first come on, and I like to think that I’m pretty good at deflecting the ball around, keeping the board ticking and batting fairly calmly.
One thing is for sure about my new batting roles of No 3 in the Championship and No 4 in the one-dayers: I’m loving the extra responsibility.