July 24 2014 Latest news:
By Greg Miles
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Kent’s Darren Stevens happy to focus on batting with influx of new bowlers.
Being talented at more than one thing doesn’t always have the best of results, just ask Kent batsmen Darren Stevens.
Being asked to bowl has never been a chore for the 36-year-old, in-fact it’s something he loves, but if it gets in the way of his batting, which he wasn’t too happy with last season, well, that’s when he wants a change.
The influx of a few handy bowlers in the likes of Charlie Shreck and Mark Davies, as well as the emergence of Matt Coles, as men to lead the Kent attack this season has put Stevens down the pecking order, not that he’s complaining.
It has given the long-serving former Leicestershire man more time to focus on his batting.
“Because I’m not bowling as much as I did last year I’m hoping that will take a bit of pressure off,” he said.
“We have made a couple of good signings with the ball, I know they are using me as a fourth seamer at the moment, I don’t mind.“There have been times this year where I have bowled two overs, at times last year I would bowl 15, or 20 overs, it’s mentally tiring on the batting.
“The way it was last year we dropped down the batting and I was in before I knew it. Putting your pads back on a couple of hours later is tough on the body and on the mental side
“Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love bowling, if they ask me to bowl I will.
“I know my game inside out now, I know I’m hitting the ball well, I just need to get a good score and I will be up and running.”
The squad has certainly got up and running after a four game unbeaten start, in which they have won once, and dominated in three rain-affected draws. The competition for places is something Stevens feels has had a big impact on the county’s form.
“More players in the squad puts pressure on you to perform,” he said. “If you don’t have that you get a bit laid back and don’t perform your best.
“For Kent cricket to do well we need boys put under pressure, so I think it’s fantastic, it can only make us a better unit, a better squad.
“We should have been sitting comfortably at the top. All the games we have played we have dominated, but rain has just defeated us.”
As well as the new team mates forcing players to up their game, Stevens credits new coach Jimmy Adams’ fresh approach as big factor in their good start.
“Jimmy Adams has brought discipline back to Kent cricket, and with the new recruits to the squad it has helped us massively,” he said. “The discipline side has been on and off the pitch, it’s been hard work and it’s starting to show.
“Jimmy doesn’t just work on one aspect we have got to work on every area and bring discipline into every area.”