Good to read in the Telegraph this morning such encouraging news on the performances of Ross Whiteley and Tom Knight in Barbados.
I’ve seen Whiteley a time or two and have seen him bowl quite beautifully in what could best be described as the ‘Kevin Dean’ style. Yet I’ve been even more impressed by his clean hitting, which made me think of another young Derbyshire cricketer in Ian Blackwell.
At 22 Whiteley has time on his side and it alone will decide whether he becomes a genuine all-rounder, a batsman who can bowl a few overs or a bowler who can give the ball a real tonk. He has several impressive hitting feats to his name in the Premier League for Chesterfield, including an unbeaten 204 for them last August from just 117 balls. That innings included no fewer than eighteen sixes and eighteen fours!
As well as his cameo in last weekend’s final against Warwickshire, on the tour Whiteley played two innings for composite sides - 68 not out off 47 balls with three fours and five sixes and 45 off 26 balls with eight fours and a six. Such statistics suggest a young player who is getting to grips with his game and has the confidence to go for his shots. It is a potent mix and I will watch his progress with considerable interest.
As for Tom Knight I have yet to see him bowl but have heard enough good reports from good judges to suggest he could be a real find for the club. At 17 he has loads of time on his side and will need to continue to work hard, but figures of 3-18 in eight overs are impressive by any standards.
He took enough wickets in the Second XI last summer to set people talking and the slow left armer could be another to watch.
Meanwhile Tom Poynton has made good runs in Barbados on the back of his Australian trip. He is another for the future, although logically is going to find it hard to break into the side when the first team keeper is also the captain. If he works hard with Luke Sutton in the next couple of seasons, we will not need to look too far for the heir to the County Ground gloves.