Durham squad depth impresses interim coach Jon Lewis

Durham interim coach Jon Lewis says the squad has adapted well to the loss of senior players and kickstarted a title bid in the County Championship.

Five wins from nine, including the defeat of Derbyshire, have put Durham second in Division One behind Sussex.

The winter exits of Michael Di Venuto, Ian Blackwell and Liam Plunkett, plus injuries to Dale Benkenstein and Paul Collingwood have forced changes.

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If you put the two halves of the season together we've probably won the championship

Durham interim coach Jon Lewis

Lewis told BBC Newcastle: "Players that have come in have done extremely well."

He added: "They've come in and put their hands up in wins which is crucial because they look as though they're going to be the future of the club."

Keaton Jennings [pictured] and Michael Richardson are among the players to have built on debuts in 2012, forging regular spots in the first XI at Chester-le-Street.

Lewis, who is currently standing in with the first-class side while Geoff Cook recovers from heart problems, has helped maintain the form which had followed on from the previous campaign.

The county were tipped to struggle in some Championship season previews,  despite ending the 2012 season with five wins and a draw from the last six matches,

"If you put the two halves of the season together we've probably won the championship," Lewis added.

"It's been a good start, we've played some excellent and consistent cricket and I think that's a testament to the guys who have to play so many different formats of the game in such a short space of time."