George ready for Championship run in

Somerset’s leading run scorer in the Specsavers County Championship is George Bartlett, who has made 645 runs at an average of 35.83, including two centuries.

George, who hails from East Coker near Yeovil, grew up playing through the County age groups and made his Championship debut for Somerset against Warwickshire almost exactly two years ago at Edgbaston.

In 2017 George played in four Championship matches in which he scored a total of 100 runs, while last season he totaled 306 from six matches, including his maiden century at Lancashire.

George took a few minutes off from training on Thursday morning to talk to us about the season overall and the remaining fixtures.

“Progressively it’s going pretty well for me,” he said. “I’m looking to improve year on year, so this season I’m pretty happy with how I have played and with the consistency that I have found. That’s what I was aiming for this year. To go on and get hundreds has also been good for me.”

On more than one occasion George has walked out to bat when the pressure has been on, so does he see himself as the man for a crisis?

“When our backs are against the wall I like to think that I can play my part in helping the team out as much as I can. I don’t think too much about it really. I just go out and play how I can, do my best and if we’re in a tricky position then I try my best to get us out of it.”

In the last round of matches at Warwickshire the 21-year-old walked out to bat when Somerset were 139 for four chasing 258 for victory. He stayed at the crease to see the side home, by which time he was unbeaten on 54.

“That was a big game for us and all the boys in the changing room were a bit on edge. Chasing 250 is tricky, so we knew we had to get a few partnerships and take it from there.

“When I went in it had helped that Bants and Babar had both played so freely and shared a good partnership. That helped me to come in and play my natural game and take us even closer.”

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s match George said: “I’m feeling pretty confident and the boys are in high spirits. There are three games left for us now so we want to put all we can into them and hopefully we can finish on the right end of it.

“The fixtures schedule has been pretty hectic this year especially for the boys who play in all formats, but for me I have enjoyed having a few days off and a good rest before returning to prepare for the Yorkshire game. The boys are refreshed and ready to go.”

Finally does George think we can go that one step further than we ever have and win the Championship for the first time?

“I think we can, but it will be hard work and we might need a little luck along the way like every team does. Anything is possible. I really hope we can win it because we have definitely got the team to do it. As long as I’m performing and doing well for the team and we finish up enjoying success at the end of the year then I really don’t mind who gets the headlines.”

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Next MatchSurrey V Somerset

05/08/2021 11:00 - The Kia Oval