Patel urges Notts to be more ruthless in bid to bounce back from relegation

All-rounder Samit Patel, who is hoping Nottinghamshire can bounce back from relegation in the Specsavers County Championship in his testimonial year.
All-rounder Samit Patel, who is hoping Nottinghamshire can bounce back from relegation in the Specsavers County Championship in his testimonial year.

Key all-rounder Samit Patel has urged Nottinghamshire CCC to become more ruthless as they bid to wipe out the memory of disastrous relegation when they return to action in 2017.

Notts endured one of their worst seasons in recent years when finishing rock-bottom of the First Division in the Specsavers County Championship with just one win in 16 matches and dropping into the bottom tier for the first time since 2004.

They were slightly more successful in the one-day format, topping their group in the NatWest Twenty20 Blast and reaching Finals Day at Edgbaston, But high hopes of glory were quashed in a disappointing semi-final defeat against the eventual winners, Northamptonshire.

“Our main aims and ambitions must be to try and win some trophies,” said the 32-year-old Patel, who has been handed a testimonial in 2017 to mark his 15-year career at Trent Bridge.

“First and foremost, we need to get back into Division One of the Championship as soon as possible. That has to be one of the targets.

“To do it, I think we must be a bit more ruthless. Sometimes we can get a bit too happy and comfortable.

“We need to find that ruthlessness in the dressing-room that we are always talking about. As players, bad patches come and you are not always in form. But you can still still help your teammates to win the game.”

The popular Patel, who has made almost 500 first-team appearances for Notts, scoring more than 16,000 runs and taking more than 500 wickets, will be an important figure during the first season of new head coach Peter Moores, the former England chief who has replaced Mick Newell.

He is gunning for success not only in the County Championship but also in the one-day tournaments. “We always pride ourselves in all forms of cricket,” said Patel. “We always aim to make sure that, come July or August, we are challenging for all trophies.

“We think our white-ball cricket is in pretty good shape, but we just need to add some finishing touches. Hopefully, this will be the year when we do that.”

Patel has spent the first part of the winter close season, honing his T20 skills in the Bangladesh Premier League and helping his side, Rajshahi Kings, captained by former Notts man Darren Sammy, reach the final, where they were beaten by Dhaka Dynamites.

“It was a great experience,” said the batsman and left-arm spinner. “It was great to play against some of the best players in the world in different conditions.

“Before I went, there was talk of security issues, but there were no signs of any trouble. It was an excellently-run tournament, and I can’t thank the organisers enough.”

Patel, who has made 60 appearances for England, enjoyed plenty of success too, taking 11 wickets at an average of 20 with an economy rate of 6.11. And it has made him hungry for more with Notts this coming summer.

“I just wish the new season was starting tomorrow,” he said. “I am refreshed and raring to go again. I can’t wait to play.”