Wednesday, 23 March 2011

On the pitch

On a cheerier note, it was good to see Derbyshire’s bowlers doing well against Hampshire in the Caribbean. Honours very much even on a day where they finished 320-9 and wickets for Messrs Needham (3) Smith (3) and Palladino (2).

Derbyshire will bat tomorrow and give people some much needed time in the middle.

The players will doubtless be frustrated that the cricket has been disrupted by rain, but they’ve still got far more from the past week than they would have in the indoor nets at Derby.

Closing on an inadvertent piece of humour, I was amused to read that Mitchell Johnson intends to target the ribs of Virender Sehwag in the imminent World Cup quarter final as “he doesn’t like it.”

Not many batsmen do, but based on his performances in the Ashes and the erratic nature of his bowling, he’s as likely to tickle the ribs of second slip as those of the mercurial Indian. While Brett Lee has lost his edge of pace but still bowls the right lines and the occasional quick ball, Johnson and Shaun Tait are still too erratic to be truly dangerous. While they will take wickets, they can also be very expensive.

I’m reminded of ex-Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire bowler Peter Hacker, who was capable of taking big wickets but could also go for plenty. An over could see two down either side of the wicket, an outrageous long hop and a belter that had the batsman in trouble every so often.

But not often enough.

India to win that one for me and I’ve still seen nothing to alter my pre-tournament assertion that either they or South Africa will be the eventual winners.

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