Essex captain Ten Doeschate has ‘calmed down’
PUBLISHED: 08:30 12 July 2018
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Essex captain, and T20 elder statesman, Ryan ten Doeschate admits he has calmed down and put things in perspective after his out-of-character post-match outburst following the opening Vitality Blast defeat by Sussex under the lights at Chelmsford.
It almost seemed that, one game in, the entire Eagles’ T20 campaign was coming crashing down around his head as ten Doeschate threw out phrases like “We weren’t good enough”, “We let ourselves down”, “We could have bowled a lot smarter” and “We don’t know what our best team is”.
A week on, and the Essex leader said: “It was probably a bit of an over-reaction, based on the performance rather than taking a step back and focusing on all the things we are good at.”
Essex had put on what spinner Simon Harmer described as “a rusty performance” to lose heavily to Sussex, before bouncing back with a thrilling, penultimate-ball win over Middlesex two nights later.
“I think we’ve become quite spoilt in terms of being very successful in the recent past,” added ten Doeschate.
“You don’t have a right to turn up and win every time. Obviously, it’s frustrating when we don’t put our best performance out there. But that does happen.
“Dimi [Mascarenhas] and Mags [head coach Anthony McGrath] have been brilliant in saying that we really have to be positive with what we’ve got and try and make the most of it when we’re up.
“That approach served us well in that game on Friday. I thought we were a lot more focused in trying to do what we can do and what we’re really good at.”
With one win and one loss going into back-to-back games against Surrey tonight at the Oval, and Glamorgan back at The Cloudfm County Ground tomorrow, ten Doeschate said: “I’m happy and in a confident mood moving forward having got that first game out of the way.”
As for not knowing what Essex’s best team is, ten Doeschate added: “We are still spoilt for choice in terms of what we’ve got. I guess if you take the positive approach it’s more that we’ve got options to change the team where we see fit.
“At the moment we’re leaving an overseas bowler [Neil Wagner] out. Quinny hasn’t played yet, nor has Paulie Walter. I think things might change. But at the moment we feel that we’re picking the guys who are our 11 best T20 players.
“Wags is not someone you’d call a white-ball specialist, and at the forefront of my mind is that he could play a big part in the Championship.
“At the moment we feel Ports [Jamie Porter] has earnt his place in the team. If that means the overseas miss out, so be it. They either change our opinion on that or accept the fact that we are going to play three seamers and pick our best three seamers.”
Essex’s other overseas bowler, the Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa, did not bowl his full quota in either game.
Ten Doeschate said: “I just felt with the boundary at Chelmsford being small that it was best to bowl seam at the top end, and it wasn’t a pre-conceived plan that he only bowls three overs. In fact, I’m really surprised he only bowled three overs in both games.
2I just felt both times it was pretty late when I introduced him and to expect him to bowl at the back-end probably isn’t going to happen. But I think you’ll find from now on that he’ll bowl his four overs.”
There was also a three-ball experiment in the Sussex game where ten Doeschate went in at number four rather than five. He explained: “We identified that middle period after the power-play as somewhere we haven’t been very good at in the past. The plan was we were going to roll up for the whole campaign and I was going in higher up the order.
“But I didn’t feel comfortable there, and to make me happier with the balance of the side I’m going back to five for now. As long as it works for the team we’ll stick with that.”
Against Middlesex, Ten Doeschate became only the eighth player in the game’s history to reach 300 T20 outings. He is also only 94 runs shy of 6,000 in the short-format.
Co-incidentally, his first game, just as the 301st will be, was against Surrey. He batted at 10 that day at Imber Court in June 2003, hit six runs and took two wickets, and said: “It was a different game then. It wasn’t the aggressive game it was going to become.”