Northants head coach Sadler believes rock-bottom Somerset in false position

Head coach John Sadler believes both Somerset and Northants are in false positions in the LV= Insurance County Championship ahead of the clash between the two sides at Taunton that starts on Thursday (11am).
Northants head coach John SadlerNorthants head coach John Sadler
Northants head coach John Sadler

And he believes the table won't really begin to take shape until the back end of this month when all the teams will have played six of their 14 fixtures.

Thursday's match at Taunton sees bottom host second-from-bottom, but Sadler isn't looking too closely at the table just yet, especially when it comes to judging the strength of hosts Somerset, who have yet to win a game this season.

The south west side boast a side full of players with international experience, including Australians Cameron Bancroft and Peter Siddle, and England men Jack Leach, Craig Overton and Lewis Gregory, but have yet to hit top form.

Somerset head coach Jason KerrSomerset head coach Jason Kerr
Somerset head coach Jason Kerr

"Look, I think they are a better side that what the table suggests but I do think it is still early days," said the head coach.

"You can put a good performance in at the moment and go from the bottom to the top, and vice-versa.

"I think over the next three games we will get a truer reflection of where the league is at, once we've played six games.

"Somerset are a good side, they have had some good fortune in recent years and they have lots of very good players, but so have we. It is a big game."

On their most recent visit to Taunton back in September, Northants suffered a heavy defeat as they were thrashed by 352 runs, being bowled out on the final day for just 109.

Sadler felt that scoreline was harsh on his side, and is hoping his bowlers in particular get a little more fortune this time around.

"We had a tough game with them last season, and we were on the receiving end of that one," he said.

"I thought we were a bit unfortunate in that game in that we beat the bat a lot, but they played really well, ended up getting control of the game and put us under pressure on the last day"

Somerset go into the clash with Northants off the back of two draws, against Lancashire and Warwickshire, and a big defeat at Nottinghamshire.

Head coach Jason Kerr feels that return doesn't reflect how his team has performed in the early part of the season, and is confident results will soon follow.

“In our opening three games we’ve had some really good individual performances, but there have been a couple of sessions in those games where we haven’t turned up and that’s cost us," he said.

“Two draws and a loss is certainly not the ideal start, but we’ve had a great week in terms of preparation and we will be going out there to maximise the number of points that we can get from this game against Northants.

“We need to perform for the duration of the four days. We need to turn those good individual performances into a collective performance.

"If we do that, then we will get the right result.

“Getting that first win on the board is huge. Winning gives you confidence in your processes.

"Momentum is so important in sport and if we can get some wins as we head into the Blast that will give us huge confidence as we get back into Championship cricket later in the season.”

Northants are set to make at least four changes to the team that lost to Hampshire, with Lewis McManus (broken finger) and Josh Cobb (calf strain) injured, Gareth Berg left out and Chris Tremain having ended his stint as an overseas player.

Tremain will be replaced by fellow Aussie Jordan Buckingham, with Saif Zaib set to come in for Cobb and Harry Gouldstone to keep wicket in place of McManus. The final change is likely to be Tom Taylor for Berg.