WHEN Josh Davey was bowling out in Abu Dhabi last week the temperature was in the mid to high 20s - a stark contrast at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton where it was cold and showery, writes Richard Walsh.

Despite this Josh, who missed much of last season season through injury, was only too pleased to get outside on the grass at Taunton and get some overs under his belt.

The 33 year old, who signed an extension to his contract last year which will see him remaining with Somerset until at least the end of the 2025 season, said: “It has been a good pre-season this year because we went out to Sri Lanka first in February which was good and to get bowling on grass earlier is so much better than bowling in the indoor school. It’s good to get outside and then to go to Abu Dhabi and get some game time was really great because it gets you that match sharpness nets can’t do.

“There is a good togetherness here among the squad - we have got new leadership for the first time in seven years. There is a good belief and we know it's going to be a challenging season which it always is but we have that belief that we can win it.

“In the white ball stuff I think we just have to keep on developing because we are probably the leading force in that in the country; so we are not resting on our laurels. We need to keep developing and being that top team.”

Talking about his own form he said: “I had a frustrating year in 2023 and had a rib impingement but now I feel like I’m back to how I usually am and the levels of 2021 so I am hoping to get those numbers again. I don’t think I have had a bad season since then but I haven’t been putting the numbers up that I had before.

“I think that the club has showed good faith in me. I still feel I have got a lot of time left in me and I didn’t start playing until I was older so I’ve got a young body and still feel pretty good.”

Regarding the start of the season Josh said: “Kent is always a tough place especially with the Kookaburra balls which is a little bit unknown. We played with them last season but it was mid season when the wickets were bit harder, so we have got to adapt and figure out how we are going to take our wickets.