Gareth Batty: Surrey still not the finished article, says losing one-day final captain

By Ged ScottBBC Sport
Gareth Batty
Gareth Batty has earned an England recall at the age of 38, 11 years on from his last Test appearance

Surrey captain Gareth Batty expects his team to become better and stronger after their second straight losing One-Day Cup final experience.

A year on from losing in the final over to Gloucestershire, Surrey suffered an eight-wicket defeat by Warwickshire.

But Batty, who got a Lord's final duck for the second year running, told BBC Sport: "The club have made progress.

"We're not the finished article yet but when we are, we'll be it for a long time because of the age of the squad."

Of Saturday's team, seven are under 30 years of age - Stuart Meaker (27), England one-day opener Jason Roy (26), Rory Burns (26), Zafar Ansari (24), Ben Foakes (23), Tom Curran (21) and Sam Curran (18).

"We dropped off a cliff today. We didn't turn up," said Batty, just a day after earning an England recall at the age of 38, 11 years on from his last Test appearance.

"But we've played good consistent cricket in this competition. In the Championship we had a real purple patch in the middle when we challenged the best teams in the country. And, in the Twenty20, we missed out (on a quarter-final place) by a point, so we're not a million miles away.

"When these young lads do get picked for England they'll be ready to go."

Surrey have had Foakes, Meaker and both Curran brothers selected by England Lions duty as part of the England and Wales Cricket Board's International Pathway, a programme that involves training camps at Sandhurst, Loughborough and Dubai in November and December, followed by white-ball matches against the United Arab Emirates and a three-day match against Afghanistan in Sharjah.

That followed the selection of Surrey skipper Batty for England's Test squad for the tour of Bangladesh, along with fellow spinner Ansari, as well as the selection of opening batsman Roy in the one-day squad.

Gareth Batty
There have only ever been three lower first-innings one-day final scores than Surrey's against Warwickshire

Wisdom comes with age and experience

If any dressing room knows how to deal with the comparative unimportance of a defeat it is Surrey's, who had to go through much worse dealing with the death of team-mate Tom Maynard four years ago.

"I spoke to the boys in the changing room," added Batty. "Some of the group went through some horrible times a few years ago, and you can be relatively philosophical at times.

"Sometimes it can be straightforward. A bit more bat and ball, but it doesn't feel like that right now.

"Fortunately we've now got six months to analyse exactly where we're falling down. The crux of what was said at halfway needs to remain between the group, but I just wanted the boys to go about their disciplines properly.

"You can lose with dignity and I hope we did that. We allowed Warwickshire to enjoy what was a very fine performance. Hopefully we become better people and men because of that."

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