Star Hampshire trio must fight way back to form

Dale Benkenstein. Picture: Neil Marshall
Dale Benkenstein. Picture: Neil Marshall
Michael Carberry top scored for Hampshire with 30. Picture: Neil Marshall

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DALE BENKENSTEIN has told his misfiring batsmen: It’s up to you to fight your way back to form.

The Hampshire first-team coach has seen his batting line-up struggle for runs for much of the season so far.

But the situation has intensified in recent weeks with three of his key men – Jimmy Adams, Michael Carberry and James Vince – distinctly out of sorts.

Hampshire host Glamorgan in their latest Natwest T20 Blast clash at the Ageas Bowl tonight (7pm).

And they desperately need a win after heavy defeats across the County Championship and t20 formats in each of their past four outings.

But while Benkenstein is on hand to offer advice when required, he prefers to allow his players to iron out their own flaws.

And he remains convinced that his star trio will soon be back among the runs.

Benkenstein said: ‘It’s not often that three of your batsmen, who average over 40, are all struggling at the same time.

‘But as quickly as your confidence and your form goes, you are always one innings away from getting it back.

‘In these situations, they need to do whatever they can and fight.

‘You can offer advice but these are guys who have played a lot of cricket so a lot of it is up to them.

‘The good thing about it is that they have got a reference because they have that experience.

‘They can look back on what has worked in the past.

‘My job is to watch and see if there is anything specific I can pick up that they are doing differently.

‘Sometimes it’s just about getting them to go back to what they were doing before.

‘The other side is making sure they keep believing.

‘You don’t become a bad player in two weeks. That doesn’t happen.

‘As much as we analyse it, the players themselves have to to sort it out in their own mind. They need that hunger to do that.’

While Hampshire’s Championship campaign has been a tale of struggle since April, their t20 form has tailed off alarmingly.

Their 78-run loss at Essex last week was the biggest runs defeat in their history.

But Benkenstein feels a positive performance in the shortest format could give the side a much-needed shot of confidence.

He said: ‘At Middlesex, it was disappointing but we were really good in the field and to me, that is when you really see your team.

‘Batting is more of an individual thing but in the field we were better than we were against Somerset. Our batting has been fairly poor.

‘The white ball stuff helps guys get a bit of confidence so it is a big game for us in a lot of ways. I’m sure the guys know that and they tend to be pretty good when it counts.’

The fixture will be part of Ladies Day at the Ageas Bowl – which has been introduced to increase awareness for a new breast cancer support centre in Titchfield, due to open in October 2015.

The pavilion and the new Hilton hotel will be lit pink with themed retail stalls and offers at the hotel spa.

Meanwhile, Liam Dawson has joined Essex on a month’s loan but the club have a 24-hour recall clause.