Middlesex captain Dawid Malan believes Stuart Law’s appointment as head coach is exactly what the county need to revive their fortunes in 2019.
Law, who will leave his role as West Indies coach to take over at Lord’s in January, has no previous connections with the club – unlike any of his predecessors during the past 20 years.
Richard Scott, who vacated the head coach’s position in July, had been an internal appointment – like Toby Radford before him – while John Emburey and Mike Gatting were both distinguished former Middlesex players.
But Malan feels the 49-year-old Australian will bring fresh perspective after Middlesex’s below-par 2018 campaign, in which they failed to win promotion to the top tier of the County Championship or progress past the group stage in either white-ball competition.
The Seaxes’ skipper admitted: “I think that’s definitely what we need. We’ve had similar thinking for last nine or 10 years and a change was required in terms of outside influence.
“Stuart Law’s someone who has been involved with cricket in different conditions around the world. He can look at the way we train, our preparation and mindset and hopefully he’s the guy to get the best out of us.
“I played against him and I’ve also had a bit to do with playing against teams he’s coached – they’ve all been well-drilled and I’m sure he’ll be doing his homework on Middlesex already.
“It’ll take a little bit of time to look at the players and work out how he wants us to play but he’ll want to get the ball rolling and win games of cricket.
“I think it’s also important to say a massive thank you to Richard Scott – he had a fantastic 10 years or so with the club and left us with a good legacy to build on.”
Malan’s first season as captain ended on a high note last week as the 57-run victory at Durham followed a familiar pattern – recovering from a low first-innings total to successfully defend a small target.
The win ensured Middlesex finished their red-ball campaign fourth in Division Two, albeit 42 points short of the promotion place that had been their aim.
Malan – who will compete in next month’s T10 tournament in the United Arab Emirates, as well as the Bangladesh Premier League later in the winter – reflected: “I just don’t think the wickets were there for batsmen to score big runs.
“We had two good wickets at Lord’s and scored over 400 both times. But in every single game at Lord’s, we were put in and, if teams are asking you to bat, it means the conditions are bowler-friendly.
“We won seven of our 14 games and, if you look at that, it’s a good season, but other statistics say differently. There were times when we were short of runs and, ultimately, when we did get in, we didn’t make it count.
“If you look at the Gloucestershire game, where we didn’t manage to bowl them out in a day and a half, then Kent – when we had them 82-7 and couldn’t finish them off – those are the two where we came up short.
“It’s been a tough couple of years for the club, but I couldn’t have asked more of the players in terms of the character and fight they showed, especially some of the younger boys who put their hands up, and that bodes well for the future.”