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Can Notts Beat the Drop?

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Nottinghamshire are one of the biggest clubs in the English game; Trent Bridge is one of the best grounds in the country, they have an illustrious history and they have a talented squad. However, this year Notts have had a nightmare Championship season which has seen the club fighting for survival.

After their most recent defeat against Somerset, Notts are now in the relegation places, having fallen below Surrey. While Alex Hales, Stuart Broad and Jake Ball have missed large chunks of the season due to playing for England, and the club was rocked by James Taylor’s shock retirement, the club would not have expected to find itself in its current predicament.

After they season started with a win, many were tipping a title charge. However, they have not recorded a victory since and any hopes of title glory died long ago. Now a team that includes Samit Patel, Brendan Taylor and Chris Read is fighting for its life.

The batting has been a problem all season, with the more experienced batsman failing to produce when under pressure, and while the lower middle order has bailed them out in the past, even Chris Read has failed to save them with a crucial knock lower down the order as he would have done in the past. Young opener Jake Libby is currently looking like one of the county’s better batsman, but putting so much pressure on young shoulders isn’t an ideal way to go about things.

The bowling has been better. Jake Ball earnt an England call-up following his impressive performances, but all too often this season the bowlers have been forced to defend low scores. The signing of spinner Imran Tahir will add further venom to the attack, but for Notts to start winning games the batsman are going to have to revert their habit of collapsing when coming under pressure.

While the club is under performing in the Championship, it isn’t all doom and gloom as the Outlaws have qualified for the knock out stages of the T20 Blast, and are well positioned to do the same in the Royal London One Day Cup.

However, even if Notts win both One Day trophies, relegation from the top tier of the County Championship will be seen as unacceptable. If the worse does happen, Head Coach and England selector Mick Newell, who has been with the club for over a decade, may be sweating on his job. Notts have five games to save themselves, and now is time to start performing to their potential.

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