Gatting battles to stake a claim

Joe Gatting. Picture: Neil Marshall
Joe Gatting. Picture: Neil Marshall
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JOE GATTING insists he has new confidence as he attempts to re-establish himself in the Hampshire plans.

The former Sussex man hit an unbeaten 64 at Lord’s on his return to the Championship side after almost a year out of the first team.

His last appearance in the four-day game came in July last year against Gloucestershire.

But after he lost his place, he played just one Royal London One-Day Cup fixture in August of last year and spent the rest of the campaign in the seconds.

He started this year in a similar position but scored unbeaten centuries in the second team to earn himself a recall with Hampshire’s batsmen struggling for form.

But he knows it is down to him to cement his place in the side again.

Gatting said: ‘It was nice to do well even though it wasn’t the best day for the team.

‘I’ve been scoring a decent number of runs in the seconds so it was good to bring that form into my first appearance in the championship this season.

‘Hopefully, I can get a run in the first team now, but I just need to keep on performing every time I bat.

‘Batting is a confidence game and I lacked that last year.

‘But I’ve been in quite good nick for the past month or so and I’ve been feeling good.

‘If you score runs in any cricket, you can take it on.’

Gatting, however, knows his team are in a tough spot after getting bowled out for just 176.

He said: ‘It was a tough day on a good cricket wicket.

‘All credit to the Middlesex bowlers who kept the ball in the right areas and bowled with great discipline.

‘We just need to bounce back and hopefully get ourselves back into the game.

‘There are some fighters in our dressing room so we have to learn from the way Middlesex bowled and regroup.’