Sadler says Northants in good shape as they start Championship road trip

John Sadler is anticipating 'a tough month' as Northamptonshire hit the road in the LV= Insurance County Championship.

By Jeremy Casey
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 10:00 am
Northants head coach John Sadler
Northants head coach John Sadler

After two home games at Wantage Road to open the season, the County now gear up for a trio of road trips, starting with this week's jaunt to Chelmsford to take on Essex.

After that they go to the Oval to play Surrey and then Edgbaston to take on reigning champions Warwickshire, before returning to the County Ground to play Kent on May 19.

It is certainly a testing schedule, with 16 days' cricket pencilled in over the next 25 days, but Sadler says it is a challenge he and his players are prepared for.

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"We said a few weeks ago that we know there are going to be no easy games," said the head coach, who has seen his team draw their first two matches against Gloucestershire and Yorkshire.

"We have done well in our first two matches, but now we have three tough away games in a row, against three very good sides.

"Then we also have to play Kent at home, so it is going to be a very tough month, there is no doubt about that.

"But the lads are in good shape, everybody is fit, and we will be making sure we also rest and rotate to ensure we stay fresh."

Northants travel to Essex in good spirits, having batted out 120 overs to secure a draw against Yorkshire last weekend.

Will Young was the backbone of that rearguard effort, scoring 96 from 241 balls and spending six hours at the crease, but there were also crucial innings from Lewis McManus (62no), Rob Keogh (48) and Matt Kelly (42).

And Sadler said : “A lot of people had written us off going into that final day, but the lads really battled hard and showed real fight and character to get the result.

"Will Young was fantastic and showed what he is all about, but it was a real team effort so I was really pleased.

"To be unbeaten after two tough games is pretty good and it means the lads are in a good place."