Tomlinson: We’ve players to cope with injury crisis

James Tomlinson
James Tomlinson
Sean Ervine is caught by Varun Chopra. Picture: Kevin Shipp

Bowlers put Hampshire in control of Essex clash

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Hampshire bowler James Tomlinson believes there is enough strength in depth to cope with the club’s early-season injury crisis.

Tomlinson, who was last season’s leading wicket-taker in the Championship, is currently sidelined with a foot problem, while Simon Jones joined him on the treatment table after a picking up a groin strain against Durham.

Skipper Dominic Cork is expected to be fit after suffering a groin problem of his own but with Kabir Ali (knee), Imran Tahir (thumb), David Balcombe (back) and Dimi Mascarenhas (Achilles) all still out, Giles White’s bowling ranks are already being seriously stretched.

David Griffiths is expected to get the nod to replace Jones for the clash with the defending champions at Trent Bridge, which starts today.

But youngster Chris Wood has also been added to the squad that battled to a draw with Durham last week.

While it’s hardly ideal, Tomlinson is confident his team-mates can cope.

He said: ‘The competition for places is pretty fierce this season but we have all signed up for that.

‘You can get down about not getting picked but this is a club that wants to win trophies.

‘The chairman wants to win trophies, the coach does and we all do.

‘The way we have been trying to do that is by building up a big squad to be able to cope with injuries when they happen.

‘And you have to do that if you want to win Championship cricket.

‘You have to have a battery of bowlers and I think we have got that this year.’

Considering he has only just set foot in the club, much responsibility now rests on Friedel de Wet, who picked up his first two wickets in Hampshire colours last week.

And Tomlinson has been impressed by the new Kolpak addition.

He said: ‘Friedel de Wet seems a very good bowler – exactly what we hoped he would be. He is very accurate, very fast and disciplined.

‘To be fair, all the younger bowlers can learn from that. That is what you have to do to bowl at this level.’

Tomlinson is not yet ready to return to the ranks but remains thankful his injury was spotted early.

He said: ‘I could have bowled on it for a couple of weeks and broken it, that would have been me out for the season.

‘I think have been quite lucky in that respect. We have a strong squad, though.

‘There are some great bowlers to come in and do the job I’ve been lucky enough to do in Championship cricket over the past couple of years.

‘You can’t do anything about these things, so I’m not getting too down about it but I’m looking to get back as quickly as possible.’