Alex Gidman is not surprised by the competitive nature of Division Two in the Specsavers County Championship in the battle to claim one of the three promotion places.

Worcestershire First Team Coach Gidman made no pre-season forecasts – except to predict the strength of the division.

The past month or so has borne that out with matches against leaders Lancashire (twice), Middlesex, a then in prime form Sussex and current leaders Glamorgan.

The latter two fixtures were typical of the cricket on display this season with no-one giving an inch and Worcestershire having the better of a drawn encounter at Kidderminster and scrapping it out for a share of the spoils at Cardiff.

Worcestershire have now reached the half-way stage of their Championship campaign and are lying in sixth spot but they have games in hand on all the sides above them – including two on Glamorgan and Sussex who are in the top three.

Gidman said: We’ve played Lancashire twice, Middlesex, Sussex and Glamorgan.

“You’ve got to be ready for games. There is no hiding place. I said at the beginning of the season that this division, particularly this year, is very strong.

“There are a lot of very good teams that are performing very well. We have no divine right to assume we would finish here or there – or beat them or them.

“We’ve got to take each game as it comes and we will be doing our utmost to win the next one (against Derbyshire).

“Was I anticipating this season being so competitive? Genuinely I was. I did think that from the very beginning.

“I never made any statements about where we would finish or what we would do. It was about taking each game as it comes and that will continue to be the case.

“I’m not surprised. There are some very talented cricketers in each team and when each team is fully fit, which seems to be the case with the majority of the teams, it is very competitive. It is an exciting league to be in.”