Jason's County Championship Preview

With the start of the 2022 LV= Insurance County Championship now just around the corner, we sat down with Head Coach, Jason Kerr to discuss his thoughts ahead of the campaign.

“We’ve taken a lot of learnings from last year and we’ve invested a lot of time over the winter and throughout pre-season ensuring that we are in the best possible place come that first game at Hampshire. There’s a real air of confidence within the group at the moment.

“It would mean a tremendous amount to us to win that first County Championship. It would mean so much to the players, the Members and the Club as a whole. If we are going to be successful, we need to focus on the process and control the things that we can control. Winning is a by-product of the sum of all our parts.

“The thing that has pleased me most over the winter is how much competition there is for places. Everyone wants to be in that starting XI come that first game of the season and everyone has contributed during pre-season. The likes of Kasey and Ned have closed the gap by bowling brilliantly throughout the last few weeks. The senior guys will have taken that on board.

“We’ve got a lot of young batters who have now got a good deal of experience, and they were very consistent about how they went about their business in pre-season. As they mature, I have no doubt that they will get the results out in the middle.

“It’s an incredibly long season, so to be successful you need to utilise your whole squad. There will be people who are disappointed on Thursday, and rightly so. It’s then our job to manage that. There will be lots of opportunities throughout the year, and we need guys to come in and perform when called upon. We have genuine competition for places throughout the squad and that will help to drive people forwards.

“Division one looks incredibly competitive and there are some extremely strong sides this year. That bodes well for the standard of cricket that will be on display.”

We also asked Jason to cast his eye over Somerset’s 2022 opponents.

ESSEX

“Having Peter Siddle in the dressing room should help give us the inside track on them! Obviously, there has been some recent history with Essex, and we’ve had some great games against each other over the last few years. One of the things that Essex have done well over the years is to have a good group of senior players. The guys there know their roles well and obviously they have Sir Alastair Cook. He’s tremendously well respected within the game and has been one of England’s best players ever. Playing against someone like that is a great challenge for us and it’s one that we look forward to taking on. You want to play against the best and challenge your skills against them.”

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

“They beat us here last year and played some really good cricket. We would have got our own back at Bristol though if it hadn’t of rained! They’re an incredibly competitive side who know their roles well and in addition to that they’ve recruited well.”

HAMPSHIRE

“Hampshire are another county who have recruited well and they’ve secured Mohammad Abbas early on and Kyle Abbott will be returning once again. We know that they’re a strong side and they’re another side that we’ve had some good battles with. We’re well aware of what they’re capable of and there will definitely be an air of excitement ahead of that opening game.”

KENT

“As a club they have a philosophy of producing their own players and they try to do things the right way. The squad are incredibly professional and hard working. They’re well drilled and they will be a strong side this year.”

LANCASHIRE

“It looks like Jimmy Anderson will be available for them for a significant amount of time. He could well have a point to prove. They’ve also got some good young players coming through like Josh Bohannon, who had a great year last year.”

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

“They’ve got some very solid and experienced performers. They certainly know what they’re doing with the ball and ask a lot of questions. There’s no doubt that they’ll be competitive this year. Historically, their focus has been white-ball cricket, but we’re seeing a shift in that now. They are certainly a side that we won’t be taking lightly.”

SURREY

“During the early part of the season, they will have a lot of talent available, both with their England players and their overseas signings. They’re a strong unit and it will be a great opportunity for us to test ourselves against some of the best players around. That game at the KIA Oval in particular will be a good challenge for us.”

WARWICKSHIRE

“They will take a lot of confidence from being the champions, but I think that losing Tim Bresnan will be a big loss for them. Having said that, they’ve got some really exciting young players coming through. It’s always difficult to retain a title after winning it, so it will be interesting to see whether they can do that. They’ve gelled really well as a team in the last couple of years and they will certainly be a difficult opponent.”

YORKSHIRE

“It’s been an incredibly turbulent tie for them, and I’m sure the players and staff will be looking forward to getting back out on the park. They will be very dangerous this year because they will be thinking that it’s them against the world. They’ve always produced good players and they are a strong unit. Darren Gough is a larger-than-life character, and he will certainly give them a lot of confidence. I’m sure that him and Otis Gibson will get them playing with freedom.”