Surrey's 109-run championship victory over Essex at Chelmsford, we
caught up with Surrey's professional cricket manager and a looked
ahead to what promised to be a momentous finale to the 2011 season...
Marcus Hook: We're now one point behind
Northants, we've won more games than Northants, so it's just a
question of getting one point more than Northants from the last round
Chris Adams: We must go with the view that we have to win the game and
win it well. At the Oval, whether you bat first or second you're
looking to put on in excess of four hundred to set the game up. That
won't be any different going into the final week. I don't quite know
what pitch we'll have, but it will certainly be a scenario where we'll
have to play very good cricket in the first innings of the game to set
it up, like we did here. A first innings lead of any sort is huge and
very important if you want to go on an win the game at the Oval.
Marcus Hook: It's been a long, gruelling season,
but to see the energy the boys have got at the back end of the
campaign is brilliant. The fitness has been very good this year, there
have been very few injuries, but the attitude has also been spot on...
Chris Adams: They've been very good this year of channelling that
energy into hours of play, and then out of that we can take a little
bit of pressure off them. The must take pressure off themselves,
utilise their time well and keep filling their bodies full of good
stuff. But they have been superb. I think if you consider, when we
wrap up the season - whatever happens in this last week, even though
there is a lot to play for - we will reflect on a very productive,
progressive season for Surrey County Cricket Club; which I hope is
within plan and just reward for myself and my coaching staff, who had
faith in the plan we put into action two years ago.
Marcus Hook: When you first arrived at the Oval
there were times when you had to pick the lads up. Are you now at the
stage when you have to keep their feet on the ground?
Chris Adams: They're a very level-headed group of lads. They work very
hard. They understand the necessity to work hard and to keep coming
back feeling you've never done enough. That's one of the lines we use
- if you think you've done enough, you haven't. Keep working hard and
keep going to the well for a little bit more each time. The two
players who represent that most of all this year have been Zander de
Bruyn and Tim Linley. Zander's work ethic and routine, the work he
puts in has been a great visual for young players to see, copy and
follow. Tim is one of life's workers. He's the hardest working lad I
can remember for a long time. He works it out himself, he manages
himself and he continually looks to improve his own skills. That's the
type of cricketer I want and we want at Surrey. I'm not saying the
coaching staff should be redundant, but our job is to advise, help and
assist players make the right choices and the right decisions. I'm
adamant that they take responsibility and make those good decisions
for themselves and we're starting to get a group of players now that
are very easy to manage in that respect, but there's still huge scope
for them to develop.
Marcus Hook: The good thing about this week's
schedule is that it gives you a day off to prepare for the CB40 final,
which means you can take it one game at a time...
Chris Adams: We're not thinking about the final now. While the lads
have been out there, I've spent this week preparing our logistics for
the final, so that's all done, so that we can focus on the
championship game against Derbyshire and continue the momentum and
play some good cricket again. We've certainly got a force moving
forward in four-day cricket at the moment. We've been really superb
Marcus Hook: Somerset are a good side. They've
got experience of finals, which not many of our boys have got. But
they've also got experience of reaching finals and of losing them...
Chris Adams: Look, Somerset are a very good side. One of if not the
best one-day outfit, when they're all firing and on all cylinders.
They've continually been a force in all forms of the game. One of the
themes this year is that we're well prepared going into our games now.
We prepare well, we consider what they opposition are going to do
tactically and how they will look to play their cricket. But I think
the most important element is that we prepare ourselves well in terms
of what we need to do and how we need to play our cricket. That won't
change going into the final. The main thrust and focus will be on how
we're going to play. I always think these finals are fifty-fifty, no
matter who you play. Leicestershire have proven that by winning the
T20. There's no such thing as an underdog in finals. It's just who
plays the best cricket on the day, who's prepared to be the bravest
and go out there prepared to do something a little bit special. It's
also about having faith in each other's ability. What we've done
really well this year, in one-day cricket, is that we haven't been
reliant on two or three people putting in a performance. Somebody has
always played an innings or bowled a spell to get us wickets. In
particular, in the last few weeks. Zander got a great score at
Guildford, Jason Roy had his couple of hundreds, the two openers, at
times, have got us off to fantastic starts and Tom Maynard has been
Marcus Hook: What were your Lord's final
experiences like? Were they bitter sweet?
Chris Adams: No. I played in two and won both games. Both finals were
against Lancashire. I remember them being very special days. I'm sure
a lot of that was down to the fact I was on the winning side. The
crowd element was amazing, especially the first one I played in, in
1993. I hadn't played in front of a crowd like that before. You get a
real sense of energy when you walk out on to the hallowed turf at
Lord's; walking out there with both sets of supporters chanting and
getting behind their side. We'll focus on that when we need to, on
Friday. We've given ourselves two finals this week - a four-day final
followed by a one-day final. They're great games to play in for any
team, particularly a young, developing team. There's so much more
ahead of them, in terms of their careers. So, it's not the time to be
patting ourselves on the back. It's the time to be focusing very much
on what we can do to make this season all the more special.