Essex coach McGrath remains level-headed after Warwickshire defeat
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
One of a number of impressive qualities that Anthony McGrath possesses is the ability to remain level-headed and focussed no matter what the outcome of the Essex achievements on the field.
Therefore, it was of no surprise when their Head Coach remained philosophical after he had seen his side lose to Warwickshire earlier this week - their first defeat in 22 County Championship and Bob Willis Trophy matches – despite the presence of world class bowlers Simon Harmer and Peter Siddle in the side.
“It’s been a tremendous sequence of results and obviously the run was bound to come to an end at some stage,” he said.
“The group were really upset and own in the dressing -room afterwards, we are not accustomed to losing red-ball games of cricket.”
It was three seasons ago when Essex last tasted defeat when they were beaten heavily by Hampshire at Southampton in the first match of the 2019 season – but the response was immediate and effective as they proceeded to lift the County Championship title for the second time in three years at the end of that campaign.”
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“It has been a wonderful run and now we need to launch another string of positive performances. Yes, it was disappointing to lose at Warwickshire – and fair play to them because they played well and to chase down 250 odd against our attack was an excellent performance.
“We were disappointed with our second innings performance when we found ourselves 36 for 5 but we don’t want to dwell on things, we mustn’t get downbeat, we have to dust ourselves down and look ahead and hopefully get another decent run of form going.
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“The players have been fantastic over the past few years, they’ve fought, battled and scrapped their way through and been a credit to themselves and the club.
“Yes, the defeat by Warwickshire hurt our pride, as I said earlier, we are not used to losing in red-ball cricket but the challenge now is to bounce back quickly and start another long unbeaten run and we can do that by playing our best cricket.”
To underline the benign nature of the Edgbaston pitch on the final day, neither Overseas stars, formidable spinner Harmer nor Australian Test paceman Siddle were able to take a wicket in the Warwickshire second innings despite sending down 32 and 14 overs respectively.
Siddle, who appeared in 67 Tests for the Baggy Green Caps collecting 221 wickets has enjoyed two brief spells with Essex playing 7 matches in 2018 and a further 8 the following year. Now, following the conclusion of the Sheffield Shield competition back in his native country, the 36 year-old is back with Essex.
“Yes it’s good to be back in England with this lovely breezy April weather,” he laughed. “No, seriously it’s great to be back around the boys and the plan is that I’m
here for the rest of the season now and hopefully, I can play my part in bringing further success to the club.”
Essex now meet Worcestershire in the County Championship at New Road starting on Thursday hoping to return to the winning trail and kickstart another impressive sequence of results.