Ryan ten Doeschate believes Essex can use their shock defeat by Yorkshire to kick-start their defence of the Specsavers County Championship title, starting today at Worcester.
Essex suffered their first red-ball loss in 20 months over the Bank Holiday week, and that after bowling Yorkshire out for 50 inside the first session of the game.
The Essex captain said: “Mags [head coach Anthony McGrath] made the point to the guys that teams are allowed to be better than us. We’re not always going to be on top of our game and you do lose and you do make mistakes. That’s the best way we can look at that game – just reiterate how good we have been in the last few years. But sometimes cricket is tough and you come out on the wrong side of it.
“I think we were pretty good in dealing with the fall-out from the game. We were very honest about where we weren’t very good. We probably weren’t good enough for one session and that cost us. That’s the way it goes in this division.
“If you think how often we were ‘on’ last year, and I think to win championships you can only afford to be ‘off’ a few times. To be ‘off’ for that evening session on the first day probably cost us the game.”
Ten Doeschate suffered only his fourth Championship defeat in 34 at the helm. He said: “The Yorkshire game was particularly disappointing because I felt we had a lot of opportunities to really nail the game. But I’ve got no issues if someone outplays us, as Yorkshire did, or if we’re not quite ‘on’ it, but we’re trying our best to make the game in our favour. I can handle losing and bad performances.”
The mood in the camp remains upbeat. “Even after the game we sat down and had a good chat, and a few beers in the changing room. Mags is big on keeping a team spirit high and certainly we won’t be derailed by one defeat or from what we want to do. Absolutely not. There has been no change in our psyche. We look forward to another challenge against Worcestershire.”
Essex sit sixth in the table, 30 points off leaders Nottinghamshire. But ten Doeschate said: “There’s still more than two-thirds of the season left where we can pick up points. So we need to be even better than we’ve been in the past, but everything is still possible at the moment.
“Look, if we get a win this week then it’s been a pretty good start. Two wins, two draws and a loss would be a pretty good start out of five. But also if I cast my mind back to last year, we started slowly and the one-day cup came at a good time and allowed guys to settle in and freed the batters up.
“We were certainly better after June last year. You can make whatever you want out of it, but in this particular case there has been a lack of cricket this season and maybe that’s about to change now. This is a big game for us. The wicket looks pretty good and we’re going to have to work hard for anything. But the boys are desperate to put things right.”