Notts Outlaws will be hoping that they can return to form this weekend, after a chastening few days that has delivered three consecutive home defeats.
Having begun the latest round of county championship matches in second spot in the table, Notts were roundly bullied into three-day submission by Surrey, all following on from consecutive Trent Bridge losses to Durham Jets and Leicestershire Foxes in the Vitality Blast competition.
Despite these setbacks Peter Moores’ squad remain in good shape in both formats and know that momentum can change quickly at this stage of the campaign.
They now face two difficult opponents within 24 hours. On Friday evening they host Lancashire Lightning before a quick trip up the A1, where they will again face Durham Jets, in the return fixture at Chester-le-Street.
If Notts are looking for a couple of easy opportunities to get back to winning ways then they couldn’t have much sterner challenges; Lancs top the North Group after putting five straight wins together, whilst Durham have now won three in a row, to go second.
Head coach Moores is looking for a response from his group.
“I don’t deal in seasons in one week but we’ve had a very tough week,” he admitted. “We’ve had two poor T20 performances and a poor championship performance.
“As a group, you sometimes have to take a tough week. We’ve just had one but the key is how you bounce back – that’s the bottom line for me.”
Moores played down the short amount of time to get his side prepared for these important fixtures but stressed they’ll be ready.
“You get a day to scrub yourself up, have a day to train then come Friday we’ve got a big game and we’ve got another big game on Saturday,” he said.
“We are bang in the mix in the T20s but it will only happen because we’ll make it happen. No one comes in on a charger in pro sport – and quite rightly so.
“The group of players and the coaching staff will prepare and get ready to front up on Friday against a good Lancashire side and we’ll be looking forward to it and looking forward to playing in front of a good home crowd.
“The supporters have been fantastic for us and we really want to give them a performance.
“The season isn’t played out over a week, so there’s a lot of cricket still to play and there are two trophies up for grabs. That’s the way you have to look at it.
“The first job now, for the next period of time, is to qualify for the T20, so that becomes a real focus for us.
“The Championship can be put on the back-burner for a little bit until we come back and then we’ve got five big championship games to finish, so we’ll take it in sections, like we always do.”
Notts are still without Chris Nash (shoulder) and Alex Hales (side strain), so will select from the squad of players that have been on duty in recent Vitality Blast matches.
Notts Outlaws likely squad for matches v Lancashire & Durham: Christian (captain), Wessels, Fraine, Moores (wkt), Patel, Mullaney, Sodhi, Fletcher, Ball, Gurney, Carter, Milnes, Coughlin, Libby.