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Kent’s 20/20 Vision

Saturday 15th August 2015

You have to hand it to Kent this season, they have been incredibly consistent this summer, consistently inconsistent that is!

It has left Members, supporters and no doubt the players and management scratching their heads trying to get to the bottom of how they can look like such a promising unit of young and up and coming English players one day and a bit of a shambles the next.

Obviously the team have had an excellent campaign in the T20 thus far and a distinctly below par one in the Championship, but even in those competitions along with the RL50 there have been erratic swings of fortune.

With Kent facing their biggest game of the season at home to Lancashire in the T20 at Canterbury many Kent fans will be hoping “brave, exciting, positive” Kent turn up and they make it to Finals Day at Edgbaston with promotion hopes in the four day format long gone and the 50 over hopes hanging by a thread.

Perhaps it is the summer to be inconsistent given England’s Test record of win-loss-win-loss-win-loss-win until they snapped out of it at Trent Bridge to clinch the Ashes in a little over two days against a side they’d lost to by 405 runs at Lord’s just two games earlier.

A quick look through Kent’s fixtures shows extreme swings in form, even during some Championship matches where they have found themselves in promising positions and then lost.

In between all this though Kent were winning nine out of 14 T20 games, often winning well, with vibrancy, brave and spectacular batting, clever bowling, inspired fielding and taking some rip-snorting catches for good measure.

When they lost they really did lose, the humiliation at Lord’s thankfully being a blip followed by splendid wins over Essex and Surrey to delight the Kent faithful, but stuffing Sussex, Somerset and Gloucestershire simply exacerbated the bewildering contrast in form.

Whilst not having hit the heights of last season in the RL50 there have been a couple of thumping wins in that too, and a couple of big defeats. So what is going on?

Clearly the players have ability, some of the performances have been fantastic, genuinely heart warming and show huge promise for the future. However fans will be asking why they can’t string these good days together.

It has been a weird season thus far, some of it I have enjoyed more than for five years, but some has been mortifyingly bad. If Kent do progress to the T20 Finals Day it will be a greater achievement than in 2007, 2008 or 2009 because they lack the help of assorted overseas stars and Kolpaks.

They are unfashionable and don’t feature in any franchise plans but the development and potential of their young English players has caught the eye of the wider media at long last.

Lancashire will provide a tough opponent but at this stage Kent would expect nothing less. With Warwickshire, Hampshire and Northamptonshire having already qualified it would be a strong line-up at Edgbaston, but even if Kent do make it, they will need to address the erratic nature of their season.

It is frustrating for all because there is a pretty good team in there somewhere, it is the job of the coaching staff to help them reach their undoubted potential. I’m sure the crowd at Canterbury will be keen to see which Kent turn up on Saturday!