Head coach James Franklin has warned Durham’s batsmen that their places are under threat following the club’s six-wicket defeat to Gloucestershire.

Durham suffered their fourth loss on the bounce in the Specsavers County Championship this term, being dismissed twice in two days for under 200 runs in both innings at Emirates Riverside.

Gloucestershire were able to knock off their winning total of 117 with relative ease on day three, leaving Franklin’s men rooted to the bottom of the Division Two table.

The New Zealander has admitted that changes in the batting ranks could be on the cards for Durham’s next match against Derbyshire.

“At the moment there’s only a few guys that could definitely say that they’re in the team against Derbyshire because a lot of the guys can’t say through their performances they deserve to be in the next game so that casts a net wide open down to the second team,” Franklin said.

“There are guys in that second team, if they score hundreds or take five-wicket hauls, then we start talking about them.

“We definitely need improvement. I can see that and everyone that’s coming to watch Durham in four-day cricket can see that. It is frustrating because three weeks ago we were watching one-day cricket, and we were playing sensational cricket.

“We’ve got to right the ship in four-day cricket as quickly as we can.

“We’ve had moments in every four-day game where we have had moments to regain parity, but if we’re really tough on ourselves we’ve always been trying to catch up.

“We’ve never been able to assert authority on any of our games. The opposition have been able to withstand pressure from us with resilience and have then been able to bury us.

“We’re a long way from the finished product in terms of a four-day team and we have a lot of improvement to do collectively and individually.”

Franklin has conceded that experience could be a factor in Durham’s batting woes, but has insisted that his players have to work through their issues adapting to remaining longer at the crease to turn their season around.

“There are not many players that have played over 50 first-class games in the squad,” Franklin said.

“You could say with the one-day team we had an inexperienced team and we did really well. Maybe it’s just this format at the moment we haven’t quite worked out individually how to go about building an innings.

“It’s four-day cricket you’ve got to be able to bat for long periods of time. It has got to be five hours not just an hour-and-a-half. You don’t have it all your own way in a four-day game there are always going to be periods when it is tough.

“That period isn’t five overs it could be a couple of hours. Are you prepared to knuckle down to get through that?

“A lot of these guys are trying hard to figure out how to do that. It’s frustrating and disappointing. These guys are good players, but at the moment we’re at the bottom of the well and we have to try to climb our way out of it.”

Durham are next in action at Emirates Riverside against Derbyshire from June 3.