Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Derbyshire v Northamptonshire

So Rikki has been dropped.

As I said earlier, it's not unexpected on form, but like a few others I didn't think Morris would do it. Full credit to him for doing so. No captain's place should be sacrosanct and while people like Mike Brearley and Stuart Surridge weren't world beaters, they led by example and often produced when it was most needed.

Sadly, Rikki has not yet done so.

I'm re-reading a really good biography of the pre-war Surrey skipper Percy Fender at present and was impressed by his views on captaincy. Essentially, if nothing is happening, try something unexpected, try different things and keep trying. His attitude was that no game should drift and sometimes you could cause problems as opponents struggled to work out why he had done something strange.

I know its a different game now, but the same values work. Even at club level, I've found that opening with spinners pays dividends as the guys generally don't play it too well. Bringing on a youngster causes problems as people are wary of getting out to a kid. Much different game to the county stuff, but trying things keeps everyone on their toes.

Tomorrow's skipper is unknown at present. Waggy had a shot in the 20/20 so could be a candidate again, Rogers did it against Glamorgan and Wavell has captained Jamaica. The brave call would be Waggy, who has had a fine season, the more logical one probably Rogers.

There's no news of the Northants side, but think of South Africa B and you're not far away. With Nick Boje in fine form, Andrew Hall and Lance Klusener in the side and Louw bowling well they're a decent side. Add in Van der Wath and maybe Rikki Wessels and you can almost smell the braii and taste the biltong...

On paper and current form they should beat us. I'd take our South African over all of theirs though, and if our genial Jamaican and amiable Aussie hit form it could be a good contest. I'd go as far as to say it is a season-defining game. Win or draw and we're still in the frame for promotion. Lose and its another year in division two.

I'm playing tomorrow night (local derby!) so may not be posting till late, or at all. Depends how the post-match celebrations go. How's that for confidence - hopefully not misplaced.

Come on lads - lets crank it up again!!

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