St George’s ‘weaker than last year’ Richardson
Somerset coach Jeff Richardson reckons St George’s’ new-look team is weaker than the previous one at least on paper.
“On paper it is a weaker team from last year’s,” he told
The Royal Gazette.
“Whenever six changes are made to a team it can’t be as strong as the previous team, especially in Cup Match. How often have we seen six changes in a Cup Match team going back?”
The significant changes St George’s have made to their team this year came as little surprise to Richardson, who was a member of Somerset’s victorious 1996 Cup Match team.
“I’m not surprised at the wholesome changes St George’s made,” he said. “I’m not surprised at all because they had to start rebuilding sooner or later, and they’ve taken the sooner rather than later path.”
Perhaps the biggest shock for Richardson was St George’s’ decision not to include promising leg spinner Delray Rawlins in order to add more variation to their bowling attack.
“I was surprised they did not go with a spinner who can take it away from the right hander, someone like Delray,” he said.
And he was a little baffled that St George’s decided to drop off-spinner Delyone Borden who is regarded as one of the Island’s premier slow bowlers.
Rather than dwell at length on the changes the East Enders have made this year, Richardson is instead focused on getting his players to execute a game plan he hopes will carry the champions to a first victory at Wellington Oval in more that three decades.
“St George’s’ team on paper has no impact on their performance because anybody can perform on the day,” he said. “It also doesn’t impact how we are going to go about our game plan in that we have all intentions of going St George’s to try and win the match.
“Anybody who knows me knows that it’s not in my DNA to go out there and play for a draw and we’re going to go there and try to win the match.
“Somerset haven’t won in St George’s in a long time. They have come close previously, but I think this is the most opportune time to lift the trophy in St George’s as victors.”
While Somerset are favoured to retain the cup this year, Richardson has warned his players not to take a St George’s team, boasting four colts, for granted.
“Complacency is one of the reasons why St George’s played the way they did last year,” he said. “So it would be remiss of me not to speak to my players and advise them not to become complacent because it can easily set in, especially when you are the holders of the cup.”
Richardson formed part of Somerset’s selection committee that retained the same squad that thrashed St George’s by ten wickets on home soil last year.
“We found it difficult to fix what wasn’t broken,” he said. “What changes could we have made to make the team stronger? The chemistry is already there.”