DAN LINCOLN believes a seamless transition to becoming Finchampstead captain has helped boost his performances on the pitch.
Lincoln took over as skipper from the departing Dan Marles ahead of this season and has seen his batting average rise from 35 to over 50, scoring nine half centuries for club and county so far.
He is also the clear leading runs scorer in the entire Home Counties Premier 1 with 607 from his 11 innings for Finch in 2018, despite the side winning just twice all season.
And the 23-year-old said he had no hesitation in taking over the captaincy from Marles.
“I never had an issue with it,” Lincoln told The Wokingham Paper.
“Marlesy did all the work but I was always kind of on the back burner and if he ever had an idea, he’d always run it past me.
“I’ve captained every side I’ve been in, just from the back seat, from the back bench really, just thinking what would I be doing differently or what is he doing right.
“I’ve always got a cricketing brain where instead of just standing there in the field getting bored for three hours, I’d just kind of do it in my own head.”
He added: “There have been a few changes but it’s nothing I’m not used to playing my football and cricket to the level that I play at.
“I’ve just tried to run it a little bit closer to that really which I think has helped the boys and I think it’s made it a little bit easier to go from not captaining it to captaining the side.
“The on-field stuff, the batting, the bowling and the field placements I’ve always found very easy, it comes very naturally.
“But organising others can be difficult with availability and stuff like that when we’ve got such a good summer on at the minute.”
Despite relishing the captaincy role, results on the pitch have not quite gone to plan.
Many of the successful Finchampstead squad over the last few years followed Marles out the exit door, leaving Lincoln with some rebuilding to do.
Just two wins have followed, but Finches have picked up valuable bonus points along the way which keeps them seventh in the table, 32 points clear of the relegation zone.
“If you look at some of the draws we’ve had, they’ve been us on top,” said Lincoln.
“There’s been a couple of losses where actually we haven’t deliberately gone out and lost but we’ve made it very acquirable with some of the runs we’ve set. For instance, playing Tring and setting 300, we could’ve shut up shop and they could’ve got 200-3, whereas they chased it down for nine and we got an extra six points because they chased it, which is ridiculous really.
“But that’s the way the league want to go and make the points available to us, so we’ll make the most of it. Getting an extra six points for losing a game is remarkable.”
Lincoln is set for a busy weekend, starting with a huge league clash away at Oxford.
Following Finch’s six-wicket loss to Aston Rowant on Saturday, second-bottom Oxford closed the gap ahead of this weekend’s showdown.
And after that game, Lincoln is likely to be involved for Berkshire when they welcome Shropshire to Finchampstead CC’s Memorial Park on Sunday for a top-of-the-table Minor Counties Championship clash.
“It’s an important game on Saturday against Oxford,” said Lincoln.
“We’re going down to their place looking for 25 points if I’m being honest.
“You want to beat your rivals in and around you and it’s important that you do that.”
He added: “I think the captaincy has helped at Finch a little bit and it’s made it very, very clear in my eyes that I can’t just go out and be a free spirit all the time.
“Then reverting back to Berkshire and the way I play and what the county want from me, I can be a bit more of a free spirit.
“The three day stuff changes things a little bit but on county day, especially the one dayers and Twenty20, if you see ball, hit ball. Whereas on a Saturday, you actually need to hang around and make sure you get as many as you can.
“So I’ve got a good balance at the minute.
“I think we’ll go OK on Sunday.
“Shropshire are two points below us, second in the table, so it’ll be a good game to come down and watch.”