We're in good shape for t20, insists Somerset's Peter Trego
WHEN Somerset turned up in India for the T20 Champions League at the back-end of 2011 minus four key players, no one gave them a chance of success.
But a side blessed with youthful exuberance and no little skill defied all the odds in reaching the semi-finals before losing to eventual winners Mumbai Indians.
Four of Somerset's top batsmen – opener Marcus Trescothick, West Indian all rounder Kieron Pollard and England one-day specialists Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler, although they did play in Somerset's last two games – missed out on the event after playing such prominent roles in the bounty's path to the domestic T20 final, where they were beaten by Leicestershire.
Peter Trego was one of the more senior players that did play a part in India though, and he feels that experience shows just how much strength in depth there is to Somerset's squad ahead of their first Friends Life t20 match this season, against Warwickshire at the County Ground today.
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"We went there without four of our top six batsmen," said Trego. "It was a huge disadvantage, but to get to the semi-finals was a great achievement and it was almost like a three-week academy for the club.
"Guys that had not had the opportunity before came in and did a great job against world-class opposition and really showcased what they can do for us.
"From a character point of view, it showed we have a hell of a lot of it down here.
"As a squad, I think we learned from the experience as well. Some of the young guys that came in to replace the guys that were not available really stood up to the challenge and showed a lot of character and it probably added a great deal of depth to our squad for this year. It was a very valuable experience.
"You always feel that you can cope when you lose big players. Most teams in the country suffer quite badly when they lose two main players, which we are potentially going to do (Kieswetter and Buttler are again in England's Twenty20 squad). But it just gives you that feeling that you can get by and win games without them.
"They are obviously phenomenally talented members of our team and hugely important, but life does go on when these guys go off to represent their country and the Champions League showed that we can compete and compete hard without them."
Paul Collingwood has broken his hand and will miss Durham's FL t20 group campaign.
The former England batsman suffered the injury to his right hand in last week's LV= County Championship match at home to Warwickshire.