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Mitch Claydon: We have the belief

Friday 31st July 2015

Men’s First Team

Having led the Kent bowling attack on their emphatic run into the NatWest T20 Blast quarter finals, Australian-born seamer Mitch Claydon enjoys the cut and thrust of this season’s Royal London One-Day Cup.

The 32-year-old from New South Wales proved Kent’s star performer bowling at the death during the Spitfires’ run into the last eight of this year’s T20 Blast, and Claydon believes the entire squad will take confidence from their white-ball performances of the past two seasons.

“For me, it was our run in last year’s One-Day Cup that started our improvement as a one-day unit as a whole,” said Claydon. “Prior to reaching the semi-final against Warwickshire there wasn’t a lot of self-belief in the camp that we could stand toe-to-toe with the top one-day sides, but that’s all changed since last year’s run.

“Batting-wise, we’ve got some experienced guys like Stevo and Joe Denly and some exciting young lads throughout the middle-order who take great delight in clearing the ropes.

“The defeat at Edgbaston hurt on the day, for sure, but we faced up to that and felt that maybe they were a more experienced outfit who just went better on the day. We’ve learned a lot from it, though, and we’re a better side for the experience.

“Of course, there was disappointment because we weren’t that far away from a Lord’s cup final, but we’ve acknowledged that we made some mistakes in Birmingham and we’ll take those lessons into the competition this time around.”

Claydon added: “It’s easy to forget that we played some of those one-day games last year, including the semi-final, without an overseas player, as we have this year. But what we do have now is a better blend of youth and experience, added to a real belief that we are good enough as a unit to knock over the best. And that makes us dangerous opponents.”

As for his own role in the 50-over competition, Claydon, who bagged 14 wickets in the format overall last season, said: “I don’t think I’ll be looking to change things too much.

“I’ll look to take wickets early, make inroads at the start with five or six attacking overs. Then I’d probably look to tighten things up a fair bit with a couple of overs in the powerplay, then come back at the death to get in some yorkers, with a bit of variation and maybe a few slower balls.

“To me, the trick with death bowling is to not get too carried away trying to do too many different things. Keep it simple and back your plans. We’re going well as a bowling unit in white-ball cricket so we’ll take a lot of confidence with us into this longer format.”

Mark Pennell

Next up in the Royal London One-Day Cup is the visit of Sussex Sharks on Sunday (10.30am start) at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

Click here to buy tickets