Essex captain James Foster admits that his county’s recent change of fortunes did not surprise him.
One of the pre-season favourites to win promotion from Division Two in the Championship, Essex found themselves without a win from their first three matches after defeats by Kent and Middlesex and a draw against Northants.
“It was not the start we wanted nor had expected, to be honest, but with the squad of players we have I never had any doubts that we would turn things around sooner rather than later,” said Foster.
Essex picked up the winning thread when they beat Glamorgan in the Championship last week before the start of their Clydesdale Bank 40 campaign saw them achieve back-to-back victories at Chelmsford.
“I know how much the players were hurting after our dismal start but the win against Glamorgan kick-started our season and we’ve followed that up by beating two very good teams in Notts and Lancashire in the CB40,” he added.
“It was good to win those two one-dayers at Chelmsford in front of our own fans and hopefully we can make the place a fortress once more. We’ve always backed ourselves to perform well in one-day cricket whether we are at home or away. We are in a tough group but the two wins have given us a decent start.
“We’ve got a couple more CB40 matches coming up with matches against Glamorgan at Cardiff and the Unicorns at Bury St Edmunds, and then a couple of Championship matches over the next two weeks, so a few more good results from those games will really get things going nicely.
“Glamorgan will want to avenge their recent defeat and the Unicorns will be really up for it and eager to put one over us, so we certainly won’t underestimate them.”
Foster was also delighted to see the overseas recruit, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, produce his best performance since linking up with the county when he took 4 for 43 from 7.4 overs in the win over Lancashire.
Tsotsobe, a South African left-arm quick, made his debut at Northampton just over two weeks ago and is with the county until the end of May.
“He hadn’t played for a while when he joined us and he did take a while to come to terms with English conditions but he’s been working and practising hard since he’s been with us and he bowled exceptionally well against Lancashire,” said Foster.
“He showed his skill and his class when he went around the wicket and was bowling a lot of very effective cutters.”