Friedel de Wet believes Marcus Trescothick is still good enough to play for England after seeing the Somerset captain put Hampshire to the sword at the Rose Bowl.
The former Test star struck a superb unbeaten 193 as the hosts chased leather for most of the Championship clash’s second day.
Somerset reached stumps at 405 for five – a lead of 120 and still with five wickets in hand.
While de Wet grabbed two wickets in the shape of James Hildreth and Craig Kieswetter – who were both caught and bowled – there was precious little else to enjoy for the bowler who joined Hampshire in the close season.
But he believes his side can still mount a fightback.
He said: ‘It’s my first time bowling at Trescothick and he is world class.
‘I know he’s retired but he could still play for England – he is still good enough.
‘There was a stage where we just tried to give him a single but he still kept hitting it to all parts because he was seeing it like a football. It was so difficult.’
Somerset’s performance with the bat was in stark contrast to Hampshire’s display on day one and de Wet admitted the pitch had plenty of runs in it.
He said: ‘It’s a good wicket. We started off okay but after lunch we let it slip a bit.
‘We didn’t bowl to our game plan but they batted well and we didn’t bat as well as we would have liked.
‘We probably needed at least 400 on that wicket but now it’s fightback time.’
Trescothick only had one scare when – on 132 – de Wet felt he had him caught behind only for the umpire to turn down the home side’s appeals.
But the Hampshire bowler remained philosophical.
De Wet said: ‘That’s the way it goes sometimes.
‘I still feel it was a nick but that’s cricket.
‘Maybe today he may nick his pads and it might go my way.
‘I got two wickets but I was very lucky.
‘Sometimes they stick and sometimes they wobble out.’
One thing the Hampshire bowlers will certainly need to improve upon is the number of no balls they bowled.
A total of 20 illegal deliveries contributed to a mighty 58 extras – boosting the visitors’ total.
De Wet said: ‘We have bowled a lot of no-balls but I can’t give you the reasons because we have been working on that.
‘It’s disappointing because we shouldn’t be doing it.
‘We need to look at ourselves and do better.’