Paul Franks Column: Remaining Positive

Featured News | 29th June 2011

I don't think we are looking over our shoulders at relegation from the County Championship having lost to Lancashire – that's not the nature of the people in our dressing room.

We are not looking down, we are looking at ways to get further up.

You have to keep an eye on it and not be completely blasé. You don't want to keep thinking we are going to be all right and then all of a sudden it sneaks up on you.

Lancashire came here confident, having played some good cricket at the start of the season and got the better of us.

We needed to bat well on day three to set a platform and give us a chance to win the game on the last day, but we weren't able to do that.
There are one or two sides in the table who are struggling and one or two who are on the up, so you have to keep your eyes on everyone.

In Division One every team is strong.

That is the nature of the competition and we have seen it for a few years now.

We know what we need to do and we know we need to start accumulating the points.

That does not necessarily mean pushing for victories all the time and taking a gamble, as we did in losing at Worcestershire in attempting to win.

It depends on the circumstances; the surfaces you are playing on and the players you are coming up against.

You can't just have one policy for all situations – I don't think that works.

You have to judge the situation of the teams you are playing against because it might be a team who are competing directly against you and you don't want to give them any sniff of a victory.

I'm sure we will look to be positive wherever we can rather than sitting back and taking three points for a draw.

But at the same time you have to make sure you are not giving it away.

On a personal basis, it's pleasing to hear people talking about playing some of the best cricket of my career since stepping into Mark Ealham's shoes at the start of last season.

As I have grown older it has become easier to accept, with the benefit of experience, your good days and your bad days.

I don't get too carried away whatever happens.

With your good days it's nice and it builds confidence, but you don't obsess with it.

Equally, when you have a bad day it's important to go home, not worry about it, put it behind you and move on.

I set myself some pretty high standards and have done throughout the whole of my career – even if I have not always managed to reach them and sometimes having exceeded them.

I am delighted with what I have produced in the last 18 months and I hope it will continue for a good while yet.

As a cricketer I have definitely evolved and changed, which is the challenge. There are not many players who can stay the same throughout their time as a player and retain long periods of success.

I'm pleased with the way my batting has developed into what I now perceive as making me a good all-rounder.

All you are ever looking for is a level of consistency – whether that is with bat or ball.

It's quite hard to marry that together all of the time, but that's the challenge for any all-rounder.

I would like to think there is still more to come from me in terms of doing it on a regular basis.

I would like to get a couple more five-fors and maybe a couple of hundreds as well and the key thing is to keep on improving.

Paul Franks writes for The Nottingham Post

Paul Franks

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