Adams praises squad’s first class approach

Wednesday 9th May 2012

Men’s First Team

Kent have started the 2012 season in fine fashion. Unbeaten in all cricket, Jimmy Adams’ men sit second in division two of the LV= County Championship and got their CB40 Group C qualifying campaign off to a positive start, beating Yorkshire by four-wickets at Headingley on Sunday.

Head Coach Adams, in his first season in charge at the St Lawrence Ground, couldn’t have hoped for a better start to his regime and the West Indian is understandably extremely pleased with the team’s progress, especially as it seems like all the pre-season hard-graft is paying off.

How pleased are you with the start to the season?

I’m very happy with the way the lads are playing. They worked hard in pre-season and have carried it on into the season. Despite the indifferent weather, we have got some good points in the championship and are going well in the table. We also got our CB40 campaign underway with a win – a good victory away at Yorkshire. I’m really enjoying it because things are going well. The weather hasn’t been great, at times, but, to be fair, it has affected everybody so you just get on with it.

What has pleased you most?

The attitude of the players makes my job a lot easier; when they are hungry and willing to do the basics, over and over again, then it really helps. Their approach and preparation has been first class. If players have the right attitude then you certainly get the best out of them.

Many of the Kent side have already contributed this season but one man who has stood out is all-rounder Matt Coles. The 21 year-old has taken 27 wickets in all cricket and recently blasted a maiden first-class ton. His form has brought about a call-up to the England Lions squad and Adams is excited about the youngster’s potential.

Matt Coles has got off to a flying start. What do you put his fine form down to?

He is a very talented kid and has worked really hard with his preparation time off the pitch. When you add that to his undoubted talents, he is a potential match winner. He is now making regular positive contributions. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he can keep up this level of form.

Coles misses the trip to Chelmsford with the Lions starting their four-day Tour match against the West Indies tomorrow (Thursday). His call-up leaves a hole in a settled Kent side but Adams is confident he has enough quality in the squad to cover the gap.

What options does the Club have to replace Coles for his impending England Lions duty?

We have several players who can all come in and do a good job. Ivan (Thomas) is in for this game (at Essex) and we have a few other options too. Adam Ball, the England under 19 captain, is very talented and Simon Cook and Ashley Shaw are both good cricketers although they are nursing injuries. We have options but let’s hope everyone stays fit and continues to give me selection problems.

One of the best bits of winter business has to be the shrewd move to bring in West Indies middle-order batsman Brendan Nash as the Club’s overseas player for the 2012 campaign. The left-hander tops the LV= CC division two averages. An impressive start has seen him already post 256 runs at an average of 85.33. His form has brought much-needed stability to the Kent batting line-up and Adams is certainly a fan.

The Club’s overseas player, Brendan Nash, has impressed. Has he been every bit as good as you hoped?

I don’t think he has let anybody down. He has a very professional attitude and outlook on the game. I feel you need that sort of personality. In fairness, all of the new additions have the needed experience and they have helped create the kind of environment you need. If you get that right then it can really help and Brendan has played a key role.

Many of the Kent side have already contributed this season with new signings Michael Powell and Ben Harmison scoring runs at the top of the order while fellow summer recruits Mark Davies and Charlie Shreck have also formed a formidable new-ball partnership. Adams is happy that everyone has settled in well and also praised the players he inherited.

Most of the other new signings have also hit the ground running. Are you pleased with your squad strengthening?

Yes, very pleased. Some of them were already here (before my arrival) but all have a really good approach and you cannot ask for more than that. The talent is there within most players but you need a good attitude to back it up. You need both attributes to give yourself the best chance for the consistency one is always searching for.

There is some great strength in depth within the squad. Does it make your job harder, having to try and keep everyone happy?

Not really, no. In fact, I quite like the pressure. The fact that the players feel they have to meet standards or someone might get their position is a positive thing. You certainly need that situation if you want to be successful.

The Spitfires begin their Friends Provident t20 campaign next month, giving them enough time to recruit a second overseas player if desired. The Coach is keen, but won’t rush into making a decision just yet.

Are you looking to add an overseas player for the Friends Life t20 tournament?

We are still thinking about it and it is something that we will continue to discuss. There are lots of things to take into consideration. You have to work out who is available, when they are available and the finances involved. I would love a second overseas player but we will have to look at every element before reaching a decision.

Photo: Sarah Ansell