Notts seek to continue dramatic recovery

Luke Wood was one of last season’s brightest young stars © Getty Images

Director of cricket: Mick Newell

Captain: Chris Read (Champ and 50); Dan Christian (T20)

Last season:

Specsavers Championship: 3rd Div 1; NatWest Blast: 5th North Group; Royal London Cup: Semi-final

In:

Out: Andy Carter (Derbyshire), Gary Keedy, Paul Franks (both retired).

Overseas: Jackson Bird, Dan Christian (limited-overs).

2015 in a nutshell

After failing to win any of their first five Championship matches – and only one of their first eight – Notts were bottom of Division One at the start of July. But the recruitment of Peter Moores as a consultant coach – and the return of Chris Read from injury – helped inspire a dramatic recovery that saw them win 14 and draw two of their remaining 20 matches across all competitions including five out of six in the Championship. But for England calls and a Kumar Sangakkara masterclass for Surrey, they may well have made it to the final of the Royal London Cup.

2016 prospects

England call-ups may bite pretty deep at Trent Bridge this season. But at a club who have sometimes attracted criticism over the lack of opportunity provided to homegrown players that may provide further scope for talented youngsters such as Brett Hutton, Matt Carter and Luke Wood. The increased availability of Stuart Broad may help compensate for the absence of Alex Hales (likely to miss the first two games) and James Taylor for much of the season, while Jackson Bird replaces Peter Siddle as overseas player. Much more will be required from Michael Lumb and Samit Patel if they are to challenge, but with impressive depth and Peter Moores back in his consultancy role, Notts still look strong in all formats.

Key player

You have only to look at the improvement in results when Chris Read returned to the side last year to understand his enduring worth. He remains one of the best keepers in the country and topped the county’s first-class batting averages in 2015. Since 2004, he averages 45.22 in first-class cricket and, at an age (37) when some might be looking to scale back their workload, he has taken on the captaincy of the 50-over side to enable James Taylor to concentrate on his international aspirations.

Bright young thing

Had it not been for Sam Curran’s emergence at Surrey, 20-year-old Luke Wood may well have won more accolades in 2015. Like Curran, Wood is a left-arm bowler with the ability to swing the ball back into the right-hander and looks especially dangerous with the new ball. He also made a maiden first-class century last season. Matt Carter, who has taken a 10-for in his only first-class game to date, is also worth keeping an eye upon, though opportunities may be limited for his off-spin.

ESPNcricinfo verdict

There is no reason Nottinghamshire should not challenge in all formats. England call-ups may sting, but they should still go close in the white-ball competitions.

Bet365 odds: Specsavers Championship, Div 1: 7-1; NatWest Blast n/a; Royal London Cup 6/1.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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