Friday, 22 August 2008

That was quite something...

Hands up if anyone out there thought we'd win with nine overs to go?

I think young Dan Redfern and Tom New did a remarkable job against an experienced attack, even allowing for the fact that their Pakistani professional bowled a shocking spell. Could you envisage Charl Langeveldt bowling like that? No, me neither.

Our fielding was shoddy early on and I'm not sold on the idea of Greg Smith as an opener. I realise that in the absence of Dan Birch he was an obvious choice - or was he? Tom New has opened regularly for Leicestershire and in doing so last night would have allowed Smith to go in at his regular middle order slot. Having said that, New wouldn't then have been around at the end of the innings.

Redfern really is a talent and some of his shots last night were superb, including the whip over mid wicket from Darren Gough. I've seen him bat a few times and he has the rare talent of coming in and looking in form straight away. Keeping the score ticking over, even with ones and twos, is crucial to success in one day cricket and Redfern has grasped that at an early age.

He is now a certainty to play against Leicestershire on Monday, but should he then play against Warwickshire next Thursday?

My vote, based on his batting for England U19 and for us last night is yes, but in picking him John Morris has a real dilemma. Rogers, Hinds and Smith are certain to play and Paul Borrington would be hard done by if he were omitted after his excellent displays recently. Dan Birch has also been in good form and warrants a place, but his back spasm may prevent Morris having to choose between Rikki Clarke, recently resigned as captain, and Redfern.

New, Clare and Wagg will be at 7, 8, 9 with Langevedlt and presumably a spinner at ten and eleven. So there's a thorny one for the coach. Does he pick the man who at the start of the season was looking to resurrect his England career with his performances for Derby? Or does he pick the best young batting talent the county has had since Kim Barnett for his championship debut of the season in a game of massive importance for the county? I'd welcome your opinion on this one, but for what its worth I'd go with the youngster, especially if he built on this innings with more runs against Leicestershire on Monday.

Form is a transient thing for most but if we get nothing else out of the Pro 40 game Morris should judge the form of Clarke and Redfern to finalise his team for next Thursday.

Tough decision and we must all hope he gets it right.

No comments: