MATT Quinn says Essex are yet to hit top form, despite a superlative start to the 2017 season.
The Eagles have sealed a home tie in the semi-final of the Royal London Cup, and now return their attentions to the County Championship match against Hampshire, beginning this morning.
Essex have three County Championship matches before a One-Day Cup semi-final against Somerset or Nottinghamshire at Chelmsford, and will look to maintain their unbeaten start to the red-ball season.
And Kiwi Quinn is excited at the prospect of making his first Championship appearance since the middle of July after taking eight wickets in the six Royal London games he has played since recovering from a troublesome back injury.
“It’s nice we’ve secured that home semi-final and that it’s in the bank and sorted," he said.
"But it’s important for us not to rest on that now and continue the progress we’re made in the Championship. Our focus is now red-ball cricket.
“The Royal London campaign has got everyone's confidence flowing, but we know we haven’t played or perfect game yet, not even at one-day level.
"We’re had 10-15-over patches where we really let things go or we’ve had a few mistakes.
"We’re definitely thinking as a squad we’ve got every chance to win all three formats this year," added Quinn.
“But we know we’ve got to take one game at a time, and every game is a must-win.
"That’s a good mental space to be in. We’re flying at the moment and are enjoying our cricket.”
Quinn’s comeback has been carefully managed by Essex.
He was rested for Wednesday’s One-Day Cup win at Kent, so he was fresh and raring to go against Hampshire.
He claimed 22 Championship wickets in four appearances restricted by injury last season, including 11 in his final match against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.
But he believes wickets will be harder to come by this season, following Essex's promotion to the top tier of County Championship cricket.
“Obviously last year we were in Division Two, so I’m sure wickets will be harder to come by this season, and batsmen tougher to get out,” said Quinn.
"I’m very happy with where my body’s at and how things have been going so far.
"I’m really looking forward to getting back to some red-ball cricket.”