Surrey coach Di Venuto slams Championship display at Hampshire

BY MARCUS HOOK

Michael Di Venuto branded Surrey’s 272-run County Championship defeat away to Hampshire as “embarrassing”.

It is by no means the first time the Oval outfit’s Aussie head coach has criticised his players this summer, neither did it come as a shock to see Surrey’s batting fall into disarray.

The South Londoners mustered just 313 runs as they were bowled out for less than 165 in both innings for the first time since 2012. Hampshire, in complete contrast, racked up 436 in their second dig – the highest second innings total Surrey have conceded in four years.

Only Ollie Pope – who has now made 653 first-class runs at an average of 130.60 for the Oval outfit in 2019 – showed any willingness to hang around. He made scores of 68 and 40 in a contest that was done and dusted a day early.

To add to their woes, Surrey’s overseas player Dean Elgar has returned to South Africa for personal reasons.

It further depletes the batting options for the trip to Essex with Rory Burns (pictured) and Jason Roy unavailable for selection due to their Ashes involvement.

Di Venuto said: “I’ve been involved in a lot of cricket, watched a lot of cricket and played a lot of cricket …the last two days, what we dished up there, is some of the worst cricket I think I’ve ever seen.

“If you look at where we are in the table – the averages and the way we have played this season – we’re carrying a lot of people. You just can’t do that and expect to play good cricket.

“There’s certainly a lack of confidence. There’s only one stand-out in Ollie Pope. I’ve just said to them what I’ve said to you and they really should be embarrassed.

“We’ve got eight days of cricket left in the season and, for some of them, they’re going to be an important eight days.

“The players need to start putting some performances on the board, and, for themselves, to get something out of this season.

“Looking forward to next year, if they keep performing like that they can’t come whinging if they find themselves playing second team cricket.”

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