Monday, 11 August 2008

Derbyshire v Middlesex preview

Middlesex, Warwickshire, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Leicestershire

With the exception of tomorrow's opponents, all teams we could easily beat. I'd qualify that by saying we could beat them too, given the rub of the green, mainly from the weather.

We could go to fourth in the Championship with a good performance here and John Morris has named the following squad:

Rogers
Borrington
Birch
Hinds
Smith
Clarke
New
Wagg
Clare
Langeveldt
Doshi
Hunter

I suspect Hunter will be the one to drop out as I think we need the variety that Doshi brings to the side. His bowling has been controlled without being especially penetrative this season but I'd sooner have one spinner (Greg Smith is currently an extra to me, rather than a genuine spinning option).

I've been impressed by the methodical way that Paul Borrington has gone about his game. He is not a fancy player and at times is soporific, but young players need to fill out to time the ball well in many cases and the fact that he seems to have great powers of concentration sets him apart from his peers. I remember the young Glen Turner coming to Worcestershire and he was almost strokeless but had a fine defensive technique. Once he filled out, the confidence to hit through the ball came and he was eventually one of the finest players of his generation. I'm not saying Borrington is in that class, but after the many wickets we've given away this season it is refreshing to see a youngster prepared to graft and sell his wicket dearly.

The visitors are likely to be without Owais Shah and Andrew Strauss, so we should waltz to victory (sorry).

Their side has not been announced but will include exciting batsmen such as Eoin Morgan, Ed Joyce and Billy Godleman. The bowling attack relies heavily on Tim Murtagh in the seam department, but their spinners, veteran Shaun Udal and Indian Murali Kartik are fine bowlers. One assumes our groundstaff won't prepare a raging turner...

Can Derbyshire win to stay in the promotion hunt? Can the weather stay fine? Can Langeveldt's knee hold up? Can our batting put on a score in the first innings to put them under pressure? Can Jon Clare do pre-match warm ups without getting taken to hospital? Can Waggy get his swing and length back after some torried spells lately?

The answers to all these questions will become evident in the next few days. The big question will not be answered until the season end - namely, can John Morris get the same attitude side to turn up for successive games? We're capable of thrashing this lot then losing heavily to Leicestershire. Until we sort out that mentality issue, we will remain among the also rans.

1 comment:

Fred Titmus said...

That game from 1991.

http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Scorecards/54/54757.html

A good declaration and a good run chase (and a win for the good guys!).

Incidentally, that might be the worst side Middlesex have put out since I started watching in 1976!