I can safely predict that we'll not be beaten in the next week...
OK, joking apart, I've taken the opportunity of a day off to follow the euphoric response to the Ashes win and it was interesting listening to the Aussie coach this lunchtime.
He said that they'd paid for a couple of bad sessions, which is all you need to lose at this level. He's absolutely right and I just hope the media don't go overboard by proclaiming this side the greatest thing since sliced bread (it isn't) and they don't do their usual and build up Stuart Broad up to knock him down (they will).
It is the same as Derbyshire really. With a little inspiration we'd have beaten Leicester having outplayed them, then we'd have done the same to Northamptonshire with a little luck in the last session. There'd then have been no comments about yesterday's loss as the euphoria of impending promotion would have left everyone with a rosy glow.
John Morris made similar comments after yesterday's loss, that we'd played 80% of the game well and need to do the other 20% better. Even allowing for Queens Park being a small ground, 259 in 40 overs should be defendable. When Kent had been pegged back to needing around 180 off the last 20 it should have been a breeze, but in the end they won in a canter.
There's talk around message boards of who we should get for next year and there's various things around t'internet about potential comings and goings around the country. I came across one piece that said that Worcestershire should never have let James Pipe go and it crossed my mind that they may move to get him back in the light of Stephen Davies' impending departure (probably to Surrey). We all know that Pipe is a fine player, but the reality is that Worcester have greater resources and could dangle money in front of him that we could not match. He is out of contract, so there's something to keep an eye on there.
Should he go, John Morris would have to decide whether Tom Poynton is ready for the first team on a regular basis or if he should move for another keeper himself. One option may be ex-Derbyshire keeper Lee Goddard at Durham, a good keeper and importantly a fine batsman who never got a chance first time round. He was upset to leave Derby and may fancy a return.
Stephen Moore is also rumoured to be leaving Worcester and he would be a fine signing as an opening batsman. Moore and Madsen as an opening pair would have a lot of potential, although Paul Borrington should come into the frame with one of them perhaps dropping to three. I'm sure Moore will not lack for suitors, however, especially as a lot of teams will have to replace Kolpaks who do not qualify from next year. T
As for overseas player, Chris Rogers may benefit from the Aussies defeat and get a Test place back, but if he doesn't and cannot return, here's my short list of replacements:
I'd take Langers as the penetrative bowler we've lacked, assuming he returns to the Saffer side. Hopes would give you a good batsman and bowler - crucially he may be affordable. Afridi would be a fine draw and on his day a player of genius, but I suspect he'd be out of our league and less reliable for every day performance. White is another who may wish to show his international credentials and as a forcing batsman, leggie of talent and brilliant fielder has much to offer. Vaas has now retired from Test cricket but will still play one days, meaning his availability may be limited.
Any thoughts? Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll print the best of your responses and ideas, with my comments on them.
Have a good one!