Chris Adams has left his Surrey players in no doubt about what is expected of them when they take on Leicestershire at the Kia Oval in their fourth County Championship match of the campaign.
Heavy defeat to arch-rivals Middlesex at Lord’s last week, by an innings and 42 runs, has left Surrey rock bottom of the embryonic Championship second division table – an unacceptable position for a club of their stature, and especially given the level of investment in the team controlled by Adams in his role as cricket manager.
Surrey, indeed, meet Leicestershire as the only team in Division Two without a win already against their name and Adams is looking for a clear statement of intent in front of their own supporters.
Both the batting and the bowling looked well below par at Lord’s – where resurgent Middlesex have now won the last two London Championship derbies by an innings – and only Tom Maynard, with a first innings 98 not out, and Steve Davies, who made 94 in the second innings, emerged with any credit from the mauling.
Adams reportedly made his feelings very clear to his players in the Lord’s dressing room, and he will be looking to fast bowling pair Chris Tremlett and Stuart Meaker to take the attack to Leicestershire.
Tremlett missed the Middlesex match as part of the England management’s early-season resting policy, while Meaker sat out the game with a minor hamstring strain.
“It was a little bit frustrating, to say the least, that Tremlett could not play at Lord’s while Steven Finn, an ECB contracted fast bowler, was out there playing for Middlesex,” said Adams.
“But England wanted Chris to rest and we just had to get on with it. I’d actually have wanted him to have three Championship games ahead of the First Test against Sri Lanka – I believe that would have been best for Chris – but he’s now hopefully going to get two matches for us before being involved again with England and we want to make the most of having him around.
“Stuart was close to playing at Lord’s, and it was a shame he didn’t because I think he would have bowled extremely well in the conditions we had there.
“Our performance in that game, overall, simply wasn’t good enough and this match against Leicestershire now assumes very great importance for us. I hope we have our first-choice bowling attack, but we also have to bat a lot better. Every other team has been winning games and that’s a boat we have to get on ourselves very soon!”