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13th May 2019 News

Franklin asks for “resolve and resilience” ahead of return to red ball.

Head Coach James Franklin has called on his Durham side to display greater resilience when they return to Specsavers County Championship action in their Division Two clash against Worcestershire this week.

Durham suffered a cruel blow in their Royal London One-Day Cup campaign as their final two matches ended in washouts, preventing them from advancing to the knockout stage of the competition, despite winning four of their eight matches in the North Group.

Franklin is adamant that his team have to put their disappointment behind them and refocus on improving their performances in the Championship after suffering back-to-back defeats to Derbyshire and Sussex in their opening two matches of their season

“We got back together on Thursday to blow out the cobwebs after giving the guys a couple of days off to get used to the visual of the red ball again,” he said.

“It was an excellent period for the club in the white-ball format, but now that’s gone the next two months are very much about County Championship cricket. We’ve got to get back into the tempo of the Championship and our methodology around that.

“The first two Championship games were very disappointing. We’ve had a good chat as a group recently as to why that happened, and where we are now and where we want to be.

“As I’ve said previously, I think the first two games were a little bit symptomatic of what’s gone on in the last year or so in Championship cricket with Durham.

“We’ve got to get some resolve and resilience in ourselves as individuals and as a team. Whereas in one-day cricket you can absorb pressure for five overs and the game turns around, but in Championship cricket it could be two or three hours.

“We have to realise that it’s a four-day game – whether you’re batting or bowling – you have to concentrate for long periods of time and show that resilience. We’re aware of it, but it’s a case of doing it now.”

Mark Wood was unable to take to the field during the One-Day Cup campaign, missing the opening six games before missing out on the final two without bowling a delivery due to the weather.

Wood has now joined up for the England squad ahead of the World Cup, and Franklin has conceded that Durham may have seen the last of the 29-year-old this term.

“If we don’t see him then everything is going well for Mark,” he added. “We’re hoping that it all goes well for him with England. He’s obviously got big couple of months coming up in the World Cup and then hopefully following on after that he’ll be part of England’s Ashes team against Australia.

“Hopefully we won’t see him again until the end of season awards dinner.”

However, Durham may be boosted by the return of Chris Rushworth for their clash against Worcestershire. Rushworth missed the one-dayers after suffering a side strain and has also been battling a calf problem.

The 32-year-old has started to put overs under his belt, taking four wickets in a second XI game against Yorkshire on Friday. Franklin is hopeful that he might be ready for selection for the trip to Blackfinch New Road, which starts on Tuesday.

“Rushy has had a little bit of a niggle with his calf so we’re trying to get his fitness levels back up,” he said.

“Hopefully he can tick all the boxes in training and be available for us against Worcestershire because his pedigree in the Championship is unquestionable. He has been excellent for the best part of six or seven years.”

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