Ripley demands a reaction from Northants against Sussex

David Ripley is desperate for his team to stay in the hunt for promotion by beating Sussex (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
David Ripley is desperate for his team to stay in the hunt for promotion by beating Sussex (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

David Ripley has urged his Northants players to stand up and be counted as they bid to keep their promotion hopes alive.

The County host Sussex in a four-day fixture that starts at the County Ground on Tuesday (10.30am).

Northants need to bounce back after suffering a 163-run defeat at Specsavers County Championship Division Two leaders Nottinghamshire last time out.

Ripley's men are now 40 points adrift of the second promotion place, but they do have a game in hand on the current occupants, Worcestershire.

And a good result against Sussex this week is now vital, with Ripley calling on his batsmen to start firing as a unit.

“We’ll dust ourselves off and it’s another massive game for us this week,” Ripley said.

“We’ve got some good batsmen and there’s always someone who will play well but it's about the collective unit firing to get us to post bigger scores.

"We’ve only batted 110 overs in the first innings once this season and that is a problem for us.

“We have players who like to strike the ball and it’s entertaining to watch but sometimes it’s about a bit more in defence, being tighter and looking harder to bowl out and that’s the challenge we have as a collective.

“When you lose a big game, the best thing is to have another big game straight away to get a reaction from the players and we have been good at turning things around this season.”

Northants will be without Adam Rossington (thumb), Ben Sanderson (hamstring) and Nathan Buck (side).

But Ben Duckett, whose finger injury kept him out of the clash at Trent Bridge, is set to return, with new loan signing from Lancashire, all-rounder Luke Procter, also available.

“If it was April I’d say we should practice and hit a few more balls but at this stage of the season I think the mental freshness is massive,” said Ripley.

“You’ve got to have the mental fight for the games when they come around.

"We need the balance between being fresh and ready to go and to be able to concentrate for a long periods in the middle.

“My philosophy is that players are in charge of their own games and us coaches are here to help when asked.

"I’m not one to hit people with big sticks and demand nets every time we lose.

"Players finding their own way is the best way of improvement.”