Northants star Crook raring to get cracking against title rivals Lancashire

BIG GAME - Steven Crook is looking forward to taking on title rivals Lancashire at Old Trafford

BIG GAME - Steven Crook is looking forward to taking on title rivals Lancashire at Old Trafford

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In-form all-rounder Steven Crook is confident leaders Northants will ‘do themselves justice’ in the big top-of-the-table clash with second-placed Lancashire at Old Trafford.

The County begin their four-day LV= Championship clash against the Red Rose in Manchester today, and they are desperate to put in a good performance to at least maintain their 33-point advantage at the top of the table.

Lancashire are going into the game on a high following their demolition of Essex last week, but unbeaten Northants are in good shape as well, and Crook says he and his team-mates will be trying to treat the big game the same as any other.

“It is a huge game for us, but to be honest every game from here on in is going to be a big game,” said Crook.

“We are going into it expecting a good contest. Lancashire are playing some exceptional cricket, but we have have played some great cricket over the first couple of months of the season.

“Hopefully we can go up to Old Trafford and do ourselves justice.

“It is an exciting time, and these are the big matches you play cricket for, the games you want to be involved in.

“We are really looking forward to it, but it’s important we just stick to our processes.”

Lancashire turned in an amazing performance to dismiss Essex for just 20 on their way to victory last week.

That performance meant the closed the gap at the top on Northants, who drew a rain-affected match at Leicestershire, and Crook admits they are a dangerous team.

“They have some really experienced campaigners,” said Crook.

“Glenn Chapple is in great form with the ball, and they have a couple of guys who are making a lot of runs.

“But if we do get promoted, then these are the types of teams we are going to be playing against every week.”

Northants are still adjusting to life without Australian import Trent Copeland, but Crook is adamant the squad has the strength in depth and quality to cope without him.

“Losing Trent is a bit of a blow for us, but we have got some really good players who have been doing really well in the second team,” said Crook.

“There are a lot of bowling options, and it is fantastic to have the strength in depth that we have. I know that these guys will come in and do a good job for us.

“I have every faith in the guys coming in, faith that we can bowl well as a unit, and it is a very exciting time.”