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Dexter wants more pressure on his place

PUBLISHED: 20:43 21 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 24 August 2010

By Ben Kosky MIDDLESEX S Neil Dexter believes the club need more competition for batting places if they are to turn their fortunes around next season. Dexter made two separate centuries in last week s County Championship defeat by his old club Kent, but a

By Ben Kosky

MIDDLESEX'S Neil Dexter believes the club need more competition for batting places if they are to turn their fortunes around next season.

Dexter made two separate centuries in last week's County Championship defeat by his old club Kent, but admits he would welcome a harder battle to keep his place in the side.

Only favourable results elsewhere will allow Middlesex to avoid the wooden spoon for the first time, despite a heroic draw in their last game of the season against Derbyshire.

"The problem is that all our batsmen this year have been inconsistent in Championship cricket and I'm as much to blame as anyone," Dexter told the Times. "I'm sure it'll be a bit tougher next year.

"We don't yet know who we'll be getting into the squad for next season, but it'd be nice to be under more pressure. We can't do much worse.

"You can't take your place for granted and I'm not saying anyone has been, but I enjoy better competition and I just feel a bit of pressure might produce more runs.

"Finishing bottom of the Championship would be the worst feeling but, if we can learn from the mistakes we've made this year, I believe we can change it."

With Andrew Strauss, Owais Shah and Eoin Morgan away on England duty, it has been left to the likes of Dexter, Nick Compton and Dawid Malan to hold the Middlesex batting order together in recent weeks.

But that has opened the first-team door for youngsters like Sam Robson, Adam London and John Simpson, and Dexter - who missed much of the middle of the season with a back injury - feels the future is bright.

"Before I came back I played a few second-team games with the young guys who are now in the side, and from what I've seen they're very talented players," he said.

"I think many of them are more mature than other youngsters around the game and that gives us more depth. Hopefully they can keep taking their chances and make the decisions harder for coaches and captains."

MIDDLESEX have confirmed that they are releasing experienced pace duo Alan Richardson and Chris Silverwood.

Richardson, who spent five years with the county, has already agreed a contract with Worcestershire, while former England bowler Silverwood is also in discussion with other counties for next season.


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