Worcestershire Head Bowling Coach Alan Richardson gave his reaction at the end of Day Two of the Specsavers County Championship match with Hampshire at Blackfinch New Road.
The home side will resume on 120-8, requiring a further 128 for victory, with Ross Whiteley and Wayne Parnell at the crease after already adding an unbroken 48.
Richardson said: “What is my take on the day? A little bit disappointing from the position we felt we were in at the start of the day.
“We were really hoping to build on the start that Daryl (Mitchell) had given us yesterday, to get up to at least parity with Hampshire, maybe get a little bit of a lead, and then make it into a one innings game.
“That didn’t quite happen this morning. They’ve got a very good attack, three international quick bowlers on a wicket that has probably assisted them the whole way through so it has made it really challenging for our guys.
“We were then behind the game a little bit but I thought with the ball in the second innings we showed a lot of fight and a lot of heart as well.
“Is the difference between the attacks the experience? Certainly three of our seamers are 22 and under and learning their trade.
“At times they have bowled really well and are very promising bowlers but looking at Dale Steyn, Kyle Abbott, Fidel Edwards, who have been around a long time, highly skilled bowlers, potentially you would say that has been the difference, just that experience.
“If you watch Dale Steyn’s second innings new ball spell, it is a fine spell and something that is going to test our guys and one he relished by the look of it. He ran in and bowled really well.
“The pitch? I still think it is a good cricket wicket. It has kept the seamers interested all the way through and you’ve had to show real application, and have a little bit of luck, to get through with the bat.
“Certain people have done that. I thought Tom Alsop batted really well for Hampshire. I think Daryl batted superbly for us last night and, as you’ve seen with Ross (Whiteley) and Wayne (Parnell) there towards the end, if you are selective and patient, you can still score runs on it.
“But it probably not the flattest wicket going around.”
Richardson was pleased with the performance of Wayne Parnell in what was his home Championship debut.
He said: “We looked at him and he has got a fine white ball record and he also played Test cricket as a 20-year-old for South Africa.
“He hasn’t played much red ball cricket in the past 12-18 months and it’s been a challenge for him to get back.
“By his own admission he’s had some spells where he’s felt really good and others not so good but he always wants to bowl and has proven that he is a wicket-taker for us.
“He has given us something a little bit different and he bowls at a good pace and it’s nice to have him around for the boys.
“Thoughts for tomorrow? One of our qualities is that we bat all the way down. We are not in a great position but we will always pay for pride and we are always looking to win as well.
“We’ve got two guys at the crease who have scored first class hundreds before and we hope they play with great heart and great spirit tomorrow and have a little bit of luck and get us close.”