ANGUS FRASER isn’t losing sleep yet over Middlesex’s alarming form slump - but he’s put his tracksuit back on to help search for solutions.
Forget the office desk, the Panthers’ Director of Cricket called an impromptu net session on Wednesday for some of the bowlers ahead of Saturday’s County Championship game with Essex.
The move comes in the wake of Tuesday’s fifth defeat on the trot in the Twenty20 Cup, one in which they conceded 180 plus runs for the third time in the competition in losing to Hampshire by 56 runs.
Not that the bowlers are entirely to blame. The batsmen failed to raise 130 for the fifth game in a row.
Fraser admits the form slump is now a 24/7 headache from which the only escape is his pillow, but insists it’s time for character as much as talent.
He said: There’s a lot of thinking to do - sleeping has been the nice part of the day because then your mind stops thinking for a moment.
"The dilemma with young players is do you give them a kick or a cuddle. Shaun (Udal) has tried a mixture of both in the last week or two.
"It’s down to them to respond and show other attributes apart from raw talent. Cricket is not all about how it goes when you are doing well; it’s about how you respond when you’re struggling.
"A bit of grit in the trenches is required, a bit of over my dead body mentality perhaps."
With Tim Murtagh still sidelined with his hamstring tear and Alan Richardson not 100 per cent certain to travel to Chelmsford because of a continuing back niggle, the likes of Steven Finn and Danny Evans may have to soldier on in search of form.
But the batting may face a shake-up.
Andrew Strauss’ return will force one change at the top of the order, and while Fraser is resistant to the idea of wholesale alterations, he indicated the England captain may not be the only one.
He added: "Having played in sides where you are constantly chopping and changing you are never sure where you are if you do that.
"So you make sure you give people a decent run so they can have no complaints, and then when you make a change you give the person who comes in a decent run too.
"There are a couple of lads in the second XI, Sam Robson and Adam London who have done very well, and Dan Housego has also made a hundred, so there are options"