MIDDLESEX are no closer to finding an answer to their batting woes, Shaun Udal admitted this week.
The Panthers skipper made no bones about citing his side’s failure to make runs in the first innings as the reason behind the county’s successive defeats to Worcester and Glamorgan at the start of the 2010 four-day campaign.
The veteran former England off-spinner confessed the batting malaise, which stretches back several seasons at Lord’s, has been the subject of numerous heads up sessions and the odd post mortem.
However, the reasons behind the lack of runs remains a mystery.
He said:" It’s a question I don’t know the answer to. We’ve been racking our brains and had numerous meetings and chats, asking players for reasons of why and nobody has got any answers to be honest."
There are of course extenuating circumstances behind the latest poor start by the batsman to what it’s still hoped will be a successful promotion campaign.
Owais Shah and Eoin Morgan are away at the IPL and Neil Dexter is on the sick list after a pre-season accident at home.
However, with Morgan travelling straight to the West Indies from Mumbai, only Shah will return in the short term (volcanic ash cloud allowing) to bolster resources, meaning most of Middlesex fledgling top six will have to dig deeper, starting with this week’s four-day clash at Northants.
Udal said: "We’ve got to be prepared to apply ourselves a bit better and fight a bit harder in the first innings and not be as flash with the big shots.
"If the ball does a little bit as it did here we’ve got to adapt a bit quicker to the situation, be harder to get out and prize our wicket a bit higher.
"We’ve got to get our noses in front in a match because as we’ve proved in both games we can take 20 wickets.
"If you are conceding 140-150 run leads in the first innings you are asking your bowlers to do too much."