Ashley Giles has expressed his satisfaction with the way Warwickshire’s youthful seam attack has handled their first taste of First Division championship cricket.
The Bears sit second in the embryonic Division One table after two draws from which they have taken a solid haul of 22 points.
Ten of those points have arrived courtesy of the batsmen who piled up 500 against Somerset and 630 for eight declared against Hampshire.
The likes of Ian Bell, Jim Troughton and Tim Ambrose capitalised on good batting conditions in both the opening games. But director of cricket Giles was most pleased with the way his bowling attack performed against Hampshire at Edgbaston.
After the Bears, having lost Neil Carter to injury early on, conceded 672 for four to Somerset at Taunton, they hit back strongly against Hampshire.
Andy Miller, making his championship debut, impressed with three wickets while Boyd Rankin returned from ICC World Cup duty with Ireland to prove his worth – and his fitness – with match figures of 49-12-140-5
“It has been more than a steady start for us,” Giles said. “We have played some good championship cricket, particularly considering the injuries we have had.
“Rankin and Miller came in and bowled really well and with Chris Woakes bowling well too we have shown we have some depth there. That is important because there are going to be points in the season where we have natural rotation with injuries.
“The Hampshire game was really pleasing when you compare the two bowling attacks. They had Chris Tremlett, Dominic Cork and James Tomlinson who have played God knows how many games between them. Our three main seamers had 30 games between them but bowled them out for 379 on a pitch where we then got 600-plus.
“Andy had a really good debut. He is never necessarily going to knock anyone about for pace but he is steady as a rock. He is as close as we have got to a Tim Munton-type bowler. He is consistent, stays fit and is a good character.
“His first two championship wickets were Michael Carberry and John Crawley, good batsmen when well set, which is not bad. He just hits the pitch and does odd things with the ball. I don’t know whether he can do them at will but he gets shape on the ball and moves it both ways. He has an excellent temperament and could have a good future.”
Warwickshire failed to finish Hampshire off on the last day, despite an encouraging four-wicket haul for Ant Botha. But finishing the game well on top was a strong response to their ordeal in the field at Taunton.
“That was a test of spirit but a test of the body more than anything else,” Giles said. “In terms of tiredness it is a good one to get out of the way. I don’t think we are a bowling team that will concede 600 very often. Those conditions, for bowling, will be as bad as it gets this season.”
n?Warwickshire suffered a five-wicket defeat to Yorkshire in their opening 2nd XI Trophy group match at Edgbaston.
The Bears never recovered from posting a below-par total of 150 all out from 45.3 overs. Richard Johnson scored 42 from 47 balls before Keith Barker, at number six, at least gave his side something to bowl at with an unbeaten 52 from 93 balls. Oliver Hayman-Dolby took four for 15.
It was never enough to defend though and former England all-rounder Craig White hit 55 to ensure there was no slip-up from Yorkshire. Paul Best took two for 33.
Second XI coach Dougie Brown was in Warwickshire’s team. He batted number 11 (scoring one) and did not bowl.
The teams will play each other in a three-day game at Kings Heath starting today.