In his new official player column, seam bowler Roman Walker will cover the 2nd XI season which starts today against Somerset. Roman will give us his insight throughout the campaign as Glamorgan look to retain their 2nd XI T20 crown and prepare for a new four-day Championship competition.
Here we are, at the start of a long awaited cricket season after what has been a successful winter programme. Our first 2nd XI Championship game is against our Somerset counterparts today, followed by four more 2nd XI Championship games. We then move into the 2nd XI T20 competition, in which we are the current holders after winning the title back in 2019. After our success that season we will no doubt have high standards for ourselves as a team in 2021.
Change of format...
There has been a big change for 2nd team cricket this year and for the first time the Championship competition will be in the shape of a four-day format. This is now in line with the first team format which should benefit everyone who plays as they will now be able to understand and get familiar with how a four-day game is played.
Personally I'm glad they have moved away from three-day cricket; it is a very difficult time scale to get a result other than a draw. For example, many times in a season the batting team would have to declare their innings early in order to ‘create a chase’ to make the game a bit more interesting.
Now, as it is that doesn't sound too bad but the consequences of doing that is that bowlers aren't learning how to graft and bowl three, four and five spells in a day and it is the same problem for the batsmen as they don't learn how to score big hundreds and bat for a day and a half or two days.
With this change, our aspiring first team players have now got the chance to firstly learn how to play four-day cricket and what it takes to bat and bowl over long periods of time and secondly showcase their skills and show people they are capable of not only playing 1st XI cricket but being able to learn and adapt to any situation that may happen that wouldn't usually happen during the three-day cricket we once played.
2nd XI goals...
Second team cricket in my opinion has always been a good standard. You often have high profile players playing against you whether it be a stalwart county player or an emerging star: you are always being tested.
Our overall second team goal is to win games of cricket but primarily it’s about individuals pushing for first team selection and the development of our game, whether it be a young academy player, a trialist or even a more experienced player looking to break back in the first team.
Everyone who plays second team cricket season will want to become a better player than they are now. If we achieve this then we should have a successful season. It is always nice to win competitions but when it comes to setting goals for that it is very difficult knowing that in second team cricket your in-form players will most likely move up to play for the firsts. We as a second team will take this season on a game by game basis and set our goals for each game depending on the team we have available.
With a full season ahead of us this year we will be able to see more of the talent which is bursting through our academy. This year will be a great learning curve for these young lads as they will have the chance to learn and play against some very talented county cricketers. It’s a great chance for them to go out and take their game to the next level!
I will be covering the second team this year on the Glamorgan website with regular updates through the season. Bringing more exposure to second team cricket is something I am passionate about and gives the players a platform, as well as providing our supporters with more information on performances which could go unnoticed. I’ll cover how we we performed as a team, focus on individual achievements and give an honest assessment of my own game too.
As for me...
I would love to play some more first team cricket this year after my debut in both white-ball formats in 2019. I don't think it would be clever to put a number on how many games I want to play as there are so many variables in cricket.
First team cricket for me is the ultimate goal, as it should be for all county cricketers. However, I am also focusing on my batting and hoping to score a lot more runs this year. The coaches have worked hard on me this winter and I'm hoping to let that show. I have tweaked a few things with my bowling, trying to get more aligned towards the target and feeling really excited to see how I can do with the ball this season.
After no 2nd XI cricket last year, the boys on the fringe of the first team are itching to get started and put in some performances that will put their hand up for first team selection. It’s not the end of the world if we give the coaches selection headaches and a strong second eleven, and squad depth can only be a good thing for the club.