Dave Houghton wants Derbyshire to learn from their recent matches as they prepare to return to Specsavers County Championship action against Middlesex on Sunday.
Derbyshire were beaten by Division Two leaders Lancashire last time out in four-day cricket when a bowling attack containing Jimmy Anderson and Graham Onions set up a 10-wicket victory, an experience that Houghton believes could prove to be valuable going forward.
“It’s the first time we’ve had a real heavy defeat by anybody and when you have a look at the pure statistics of the game, Anderson and Onions got 17 for 104 so that was a really tough experience for us,” said Houghton.
“But also it’s something we can look at as a challenge for where we want to be in the future. If we want to compete at these levels and get up into the First Division, which we do, these are the sides we would play on a week-to-weeks basis so we have to make sure our game is better than that.
“It’s not pleasant for it happen to you but sometimes it’s quite good to get an experience of what it’s like. This is a side that came down last year and is fighting its way back up.
“Last year they were at the bottom of the First Division so we have to look at that and think if we are playing these sides on a week-to-week basis in these sort of conditions which you get a lot of in England then how better have we got to be.
“So for me it’s a good example for us, bowling and batting, of where we need to be if we want to be not only promoted but to be able to play First Division cricket.”
Houghton was pleased by the performance of Sam Conners, who made his County Championship debut in place of the rested Tony Palladino against Lancashire.
“He was outstanding and one of the nicest things we got from this game was when Jimmy Anderson walked past Kirbs and pointed at Sam and said, ‘I think he’s a good bowler, he did really well,'” added Houghton.
“So that’s a nice accolade to have in your first championship game and I thought he held his own with both bat and ball.”
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