Harry Gurney says his experience of being in the Indian Premier League ‘pressure cooker’ has made him a better bowler, as he returns to the Outlaws squad for the Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final against Somerset.
The left-armer spent over four months away from home over the winter, triumphing in Australia’s Big Bash League and the Pakistan Super League before traveling to India to link up with the Kolkata Knight Riders.
And almost immediately after KKR’s final game on 5th May, Gurney was flying home to be reunited with his young family and take his place in the Notts dressing room.
“One of my aims this winter was to make sure I came back a better bowler than when I left, and I think I’ve achieved that,” said Gurney.
“In India you’ve got around 70,000 people watching you in the stands and millions watching you on TV, and you’re bowling at really good batsmen all of the time, so I don’t think you can fail to improve in those conditions.
“Hopefully I can show in my performances for Notts that I’ve got better from playing in high-pressure games regularly, and that I’ve fine-tuned my skills."
Gurney has been keeping a close eye on the Trent Bridge live stream during his time in the subcontinent, as his team-mates racked up five consecutive white-ball wins before qualifying for Sunday’s semi-final in dramatic fashion against Northamptonshire.
“It looks like the boys have been playing really good cricket, and we’ve now qualified for the knockout stages in five of the last six seasons, which is phenomenal.
“We’re all really excited about another big knockout game at Trent Bridge, and to have got straight through to the semi-final.
“Once you get to the knockout stages of any competition, someone can win a game for you on their own, so the fewer knockout games you have to play on that journey to the final the better.
“To be at home in familiar conditions as well, with our loyal support behind us, will definitely give us an advantage."
It may be over seven months since Gurney last pulled on a Notts shirt, but it hasn’t taken him long to get back into the rhythm of Outlaws life.
“The Notts dressing room is such a fun place to be – I think I’ve laughed more in the last week than I did all winter.
“The new faces have all bedded in nicely, and it’s a really exiting team to be part of, with players of a really high calibre.”
Notts have named a 15-man squad for the semi-final.
Ben Slater returns after missing the Outlaws' last five games through injury, while Paul Coughlin is absent after injuring himself in the game against Worcestershire.
Nottinghamshire squad to face Somerset (from): Jake Ball, Matthew Carter, Zak Chappell, Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Luke Fletcher, Tom Moores, Steven Mullaney (c), Chris Nash, Samit Patel, James Pattinson, Ben Slater, Luke Wood.
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