Saturday, 13 September 2008

More thoughts on players

One of the fascinating things about conjecture is that it opens your eyes and gets you reading things that might ordinarily not cross the radar.

I've been looking at the Northamptonshire board on 606 and they're pretty much in shock over the loss of their star batsman, while the odd dissenter claims that he only scored runs when they were "easy" and rarely influenced a game, especially in one day cricket.

Of course, that old line of "lies, damn lies and statistics" can be trotted out for that one. You don't average over 70 and score them all in dead matches. All players have got easy runs from time to time and you can only do your best. One of the criticisms of Michael di Venuto was that he scored most of his centuries in the second innings of games when it had already been shaped - i.e. we were normally 200 behind. However, that does not and should not tarnish the repuatation of a very fine servant.

Are runs on an easy track to be discounted? I suspect that Derbyshire's club record innings against Somerset will stand for years, but it masks what was a singularly dull contest where a result was never going to happen. We should also discount, on the same basis, wickets picked up in heavy atmospheres or on green tracks.

IF (its a big if) we signed Klusener, it would be as a batsman who could turn his arm occasionally. Some of the Northants dissenters are annoyed as he was signed as an allrounder who rarely bowled. A little churlish perhaps. I remember years when Clive Rice hardly bowled for Nottinghamshire with injury yet scored, like Klusener, loads of runs. His coming would also mean we played four non-qualified players in most matches. I can live with it, especially if we win, but I'd prefer not to do that.

For balance I'd prefer overtures be made to Ian Blackwell. Partly because he's English, certainly because he's a Derbyshire lad and mainly because he would sort, with one signing our biggest requirements - a middle order batsman as well as a slow left arm spinner. I don't think for a minute he is a great spinner, but he is accurate and even as someone to give the seamers a breather he would be worthwhile.

If we don't go up this season, and we'll need a combination of brilliant cricket and luck with the weather to do so, I think we can win the Championship Division 2 next year. Surrey are almost certain to come down and they are not world-beaters (especially the attack) and one of the Roses sides looks likely to join them. Again, I think both sides positions reflect their players and that they would be beatable.

Mind you, there'd be a delicious irony in "We're a big county and Test Ground" Lancashire being in division two...


Mastervillain said...

Personally, I would let White, Hunter and Sadler go. I realise Morris has indicated the latter will most likely stay, but I really have my doubts about him. I recently checked out his 1st class record. Three tons in sixty games does not look too clever to me.

As far additions go, Lawson has had a couple of poor years. Although a wrist spinner potentially carries a greater slow bowling threat, I am not so sure here. Control is always the issue.
The same doubt applies to Marshall, formerly of Lancashire. Perhaps a tad more controlled, but less of a tweaker. Brown, on the other hand, was good in both long and short forms of the game at his peak, although I have not seen him recently.

I would certainly run with Klusener and/or Blackwell. Corky - not sure if the return -v- expense looks that enticing.

Ally Brown hauled up from the smoke for a year might be interesting. Mind you, Surrey is not a good omen.

On the younger side, perhaps Oliver Newby or Tom Smith from Lancs, if either could be prized away. They have both been out on loan - any chance Lancs might loosen their grip? Nick Compton is looking for a new team I understand..... Guess more casualties and leavers will come out in the wash.

Anonymous said...

Marshall might be a guy who you could just about bat at 6 or 7 in the Championship while he could winkle out a wicket or two a game, and be a useful one day player.

Yorkshire have a surfeit of young seamers (Sanderson, Hannon Dolby, Lee with a tiny bit of FC experience), and with Hoggard likely to be playing on for a year or two, might be worth testing the water seeing if we could get one for Hendrick to nurture. Or, and this again is going back to the future, Andy (now AJ) Harris is being loaned out a lot these days -might be worth a punt for a year, see if he has an Indian summer.

Matt, Littleover