Warwickshire captain Jim Troughton has pledged that his side will win the County Championship with two matches to spare next year after coming up just short in this season’s gripping title race.
Warwickshire were overtaken by Lancashire on the final day of the season after they struggled to take Hampshire’s last seven wickets on a flat pitch at the Rose Bowl.
Troughton called his players into a huddle as soon as he shook hands on the draw, which effectively conceded the title, but then said that there was further improvement to come from his young side.
“I said in the huddle: let this be a blessing in disguise. Not quite getting there this year will be the catalyst to make sure we get there with a couple of games to spare next year,” Troughton said.
“Apart from Shivnarine Chanderpaul I’m the only over 30 in the side that played this game. The bowling line-up has got a lot of growth in it, we have got young batters who have impressed through the year. We are not the finished article as a side yet. We have a lot more we can develop.
“There are a lot of positives to take out of the season. To finish runners-up is a fantastic effort and to win nine games is a fantastic effort considering we were tipped as relegation candidates at the start of the year.
“I would say Lancashire are the best side because they have won ten games. I think they have used home advantage fantastically well and they play a brand of cricket where they are willing to fight in those small score games.
“We have showed with our batting and bowling points that we are top of the log there but it’s being able to fight in those small score games which they have done fantastically well.
“I am more focused on the guys in our dressing room right now. Let the disappointment give them the hunger for next year. This isn’t a one-off, this is something that we can build on.
“This can be an incentive. If we perform like we have all the way through this season and start well next year we could wrap this up with two games to go if we play this brand of cricket.”