CAPTAIN Michael Klinger admits Gloucestershire require more runs from himself and Chris Dent at the top of the order.
Australian opener Klinger was a revelation in his maiden campaign for the County last summer, surpassing 1,000 runs in both red and white-ball cricket.
Regular opening partner Dent also mustered a four-figure total in the Championship, yet neither man has scored above 81 in the competition this term.
Dent can at least point to three half-centuries in the opening five matches, but Klinger is desperate to improve on his return of one 50-plus innings in Gloucestershire’s latest fixture at Derbyshire – which starts tomorrow (11am).
He said: “It’s pretty much up to Denty and myself to get our act together and help our middle-order players come in a little bit later.
“That was something we managed to do well last year and is obviously our aim going forward.
“We haven’t quite got going yet and the last game (against Kent) was probably our best chance on a pretty good wicket.
“We’ve faced some tough conditions early in the season where the ball has been seaming around but that’s our job and we’ve got to be better at that.
“Certainly as a leader and opening batsmen I need to be better and help get through those tough periods, setting it up for either myself or the middle order to get big scores.
“We’re doing all the right things in training so we’ve got to keep sticking at it and I’m sure it will come good.”
The County got their first win on the board in Division Two this week, crushing Kent by 290 runs to move up to sixth in the table.
Worcestershire and Hampshire have stolen an early march on the rest with three victories apiece, and Klinger is targeting back-to-back away successes at Derby and Leicestershire in order to make up the ground.
“Worcestershire and Hampshire are playing some good cricket but the rest of the division is pretty bunched,” Klinger said.
“It’s a big 12 days for us. We need to make sure we’re switched on and our bowlers in particular stay as fresh as possible.
“We’re trying to instil a consistent, tough brand of cricket in our young guys and if we can keep those standards up I think the results will take care of themselves.”
And Klinger has reiterated his belief that stellar all-rounder Will Gidman, who has claimed 21 wickets at 13.90 in 2014, can press for international recognition – despite playing in the bottom tier.
“The England captain (Alastair Cook) and the likes of Ravi Bopara come out of the second division, so I don’t see why that should be a hindrance to Will,” he said.
“He just needs to keep putting his best foot forward, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on him to be honest.
“I’ve said it before, he is our best and most valuable player and we’ve got to keep letting him do his stuff.”
Gidman will be back in the County squad after being rested for last night’s NatWest T20 Blast match against Middlesex.
Seamers Craig Miles (back), David Payne (heel) and Ian Saxelby (knee) remain sidelined along with wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick (finger).