Marcus Trescothick’s continued captaincy could prove a key lift in Somerset’s Division One push this season.
Talk was rife at the end of last season that ‘Tres’ would give up the role in order to focus more fully on his own game, which had undoubtedly been suffering.
Last season was the first since 1998 in which he failed to score a century for his county, but vice-captain James Hildreth has praised Trescothick’s decision to stay on, as he is respected at Taunton both “as a cricketer and as a leader”.
The former England opener – now 38 – has amassed a wealth of experience and will be vital in Somerset’s 2014 campaign, having seen his side only narrowly avoid relegation to Division Two last time around.
Trescothick’s former team-mate Andy Caddick was one of the many calling for his head, believing it would alleviate some of the pressure on the beleaguered batsman.
His resilience in keeping the captaincy, however, has shown he is made of sturdy stuff, in spite of the stress-related illness that so often affected his international career.
While his batting may benefit from concentrating solely on his own cricket rather than that of his team-mates as well, for the final part of his career Trescothick’s worth may well be in his experience, making him a more than suitable captain.
An average of just 28.21 last season suggested his best years at the crease may be behind him, and it may be difficult for him to now recover the form that made him indispensable from the England line-up for so many years.
Indeed, it would appear he has struggled to recover from the persistent ankle injury that kept him out of a large part of Somerset’s 2012 campaign.
Nonetheless, unseating the man who has captained Somerset for four years would provide unnecessary upheaval, though the club’s director of cricket Dave Nosworthy has said Trescothick’s position will be reviewed again at the end of the year.
As such, the coming season will provide the perfect opportunity for vice-captain Hildreth, under Trescothick’s guidance, to earn some more experience and leadership skills in time for the latter’s retirement.
‘Tres’, who has been playing for Somerset since 1993, has scored over 21,000 runs in his first-class career, and whilst that career may be drawing to a close, he will still prove an important figure in and around Somerset’s training sessions, particularly if they are to avoid having such a poor season again this time around.
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