Radford's rallying call to the troops

MIDDLESEX coach Toby Radford has called upon his players to seize the initiative ahead of what could be a make-or-break period of the season. Radford concedes that the club s hopes of progressing in the Friends Provident Trophy are at best remote, but s

MIDDLESEX coach Toby Radford has called upon his players to 'seize the initiative' ahead of what could be a make-or-break period of the season.

Radford concedes that the club's hopes of progressing in the Friends Provident Trophy are at best remote, but sees their three remaining games as a vital chance to rediscover lost form.

"It is fair to say that our top order has disappointed so far this season," said Radford.

"We haven't made the kind of scores we need in the first innings of four-day games and some of the players have found it hard to adjust between the different forms of cricket.


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"Our batsmen will benefit from time in the middle and by seizing the initiative when they get their chances."

Radford allowed his skipper Ed Smith and Eoin Morgan a chance to play for the second XI last week, with both players scoring runs, and Morgan returning to the first team with a century against Essex on Sunday.

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"There is no doubt that we have some classy batsmen in the side, but for me the key thing is that they have to play to the situation in hand.

"These guys - the likes of Shah, Joyce and Smith - may need to curb their attacking instincts a little bit if we are to build decent totals."

Equally problematic has been Middlesex's ability to defend totals, although a series of injuries to key players and the ongoing unavailability of Murali Kartik have not helped.

The Indian spinner is expected to return in time for the start of the Twenty20 Cup next month.

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