Rory Hamilton-Brown insists the good times are just around the corner – on both an individual and collective level.
Hamilton-Brown has endured a difficult season so far but gave a timely reminder of his undoubted talent by helping Sussex secure a draw against Yorkshire at Arundel this week.
The former Surrey captain followed up his 45 in the first innings with a season’s best 62 to ensure Sussex’s fragile confidence did not suffer another blow ahead of their trip to Durham today.
Having won their opening two games in the Championship Sussex have now failed to taste victory in their last seven outings, including two damaging defeats against Somerset.
They have not been helped by the absence of key players like Chris Jordan and Matt Prior due to England commitments and the likes of Mike Yardy, Jon Lewis, Jimmy Anyon and Matt Hobden to injury.
Hamilton-Brown admits it has been a difficult period for everyone involved but is confident Sussex’s battling performance against Yorkshire shows they are getting back on track.
Hamilton-Brown said: “Unfortunately you always have tough spells during the season but the key is whether we can turn it around. Our aim is to use the last month as a positive and start playing the sort of cricket we want to play again.
“We have taken the last month very seriously and have identified the areas we need to improve on. I think we can take a lot out of the game against Yorkshire and believe it is the first step in the right direction.
“We’ll be looking to have another nudge in the right direction on day one at Durham and then just keep building on that. Yes we are missing key players but we still feel we’ve got a strong side.
“Not having Yardy is a huge blow as he is a leader on the field and a big player for us but we feel we have got players to fill that void at the minute. With (James) Tredwell coming in and the bowling attack and batting we have got we feel we have got people ready to perform.”
Hamilton-Brown was frustrated not to go on and score his first century of the season at Arundel but believes the style in which he played in the second innings – batting for 106 balls – proves he is the right man to bat at No.3 in Yardy’s absence.
He added: “I love batting at three. It is unfortunate Yards is not there but it’s a good opportunity for me to get in against the new ball and show a different dimension to my batting.
“I have had a couple of bad games in the Championship this season but I’m pretty confident about where my game is at the moment. I had a difficult time in the Somerset game which hurt me a bit but the Yorkshire game was a nice step in the right direction.
“I will be looking to build on that now and get better and better. You’ve got to keep believing and the way I am playing I am pretty confident there is a big score around the corner.”
Hamilton-Brown has bad memories of his last trip to Chester-le-Street when Sussex were bowled out for 112 and 116 in a 285-run defeat which left their title hopes in tatters last summer.
“Last year was tough,” he said. “We were missing quite a few people and they were on a roll so we won’t be looking back at that “They are a good side at home but one thing that is always exciting about going to Durham is the chances are that there will be a result.”