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Page last updated at 13:41 GMT, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 14:41 UK

Marcus Trescothick hails 'X-factor' of bowling new boys


Kirby cannot wait for fresh start

Marcus Trescothick believes the arrival of Steve Kirby and Gemaal Hussain will provide Somerset with the crucial "X-factor" in their bowling attack.

Somerset finished runners-up in all three competitions in the 2010 season.

"Bringing both those guys in might give us that extra edge that we need," skipper Trescothick told BBC Somerset.

"That's the point of signing quality performers. They bring that little bit of X-factor you need to be the best, especially on the Taunton wicket."

The pair arrive at Somerset from neighbouring Gloucestershire where Hussain starred in his first full season with 67 Championship wickets in Division Two and Kirby weighed in with 58 scalps in all forms of the game.

And Hussain has set out his stall already with a five-wicket haul in a warm-up game against his former employees in which Trescothick saw similarities to a Somerset new-ball bowler of yesteryear.

County Championship
Kirby: 29 wickets at 28.79
Hussain: 67 wickets at 22.34
Clydesdale Bank 40
Kirby: 17 wickets at 23.52
Hussain: N/A
Friends Provident t20
Kirby: 12 wickets at 19.83
Hussain: two wickets at 73.50

He said: "Steve and Gemaal are two very high-quality bowlers, so bringing them into the squad has strengthened it massively.

"Steve's an angry man and we've all seen the aggression and passion he carries when he bowls. He has played a lot of England A stuff and has never quite gone far enough to play Test cricket just as yet.

"But he's a high-class performer and every day he puts 100% into everything he does, and Gemaal's the same.

"He was the second highest wicket-taker in the country last year and we saw some things in our warm-up game against Gloucester that almost threw us back to the Andy Caddick days. Watching him bowl like he did was a little bit like watching Caddy."

Wickets at Taunton are traditionally hard to come by and the pair could get their first taste of that particular challenge against Warwickshire on Thursday, 14 April when Somerset open their season.

Kirby is likely to be a first change impact bowler and he and Hussain will get support at the other end from Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis, another new arrival, who should trouble opponents with his stifling accuracy before facing England in the Test series at the end of May.

New challenge excites Hussain

"We're very pleased to get an experienced Steve Kirby and an improving Gemaal Hussain, who is already proving to be a quality bowler and looks an exciting prospect," said director of cricket Brian Rose.

"And the crucial thing as well is the retention of two overseas bowlers. We're very lucky to get Ajantha Mendis for the first four or five Championship games before Murali Kartik becomes available, who we know is a class bowler.

"It's very important in a Championship season to have a class spin bowler in your side."

Somerset also have a depth in the squad that will keep players fighting for places and should allow them to rotate key men and keep them fresh for the final furlong, a key ingredient which could contribute to helping the county last the pace in all three competitions this term.

"If I knew the secret formula then I think we'd have had it last season," added Trescothick.

"We've tried a couple of new things over the winter and if they're going to work we'll soon be tested on that as the summer goes along.

"The million dollar question that everybody wants to know the answer to is how are we going to go that one step further? I don't know is the answer. The proof will be in the pudding."

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see also
Trescothick hopes for improvement
06 Jan 11 |  Somerset
Somerset sign Mendis and Pollard
11 Feb 11 |  Somerset
Notts net veteran seamer Phillips
10 Nov 10 |  Nottinghamshire
Somerset sign fast bowler Hussain
20 Oct 10 |  Somerset
Bears beat Somerset in CB40 final
18 Sep 10 |  Counties
Somerset draw hands Notts title
16 Sep 10 |  Counties
Glos bowler Kirby joins Somerset
14 Sep 10 |  Somerset
Hants win thrilling T20 showdown
14 Aug 10 |  Counties

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