Saturday, 7 May 2011

Worcestershire v Derbyshire preview

This is an interesting game, with the home side performing well this season after last year's against the odds promotion. Having lost a lot of big names, the players pulled together and produced a team effort that Derbyshire will hope to emulate.

There's no news yet on their side but a batting line up packed with hard hitters will be a danger. Vikram Solanki is only 105 runs from 10,000 List A career runs and will dream of doing that in one innings, while 50 list A games between the two sides have seen them win 26 and us 23.

Unsurprisingly, there's only two changes to the side that did so well last weekend for us. Tony Palladino is in to replace Steffan Jones, while Azeem Rafiq replaces Jake Needham. What is encouraging for me is the form of people outside or on the periphery of the team, keeping pressure on those in possession. While there's no place in this game for Dan Redfern, his batting this year is much improved and he is moving forward, while Garry Park had two good innings for the Second XI. Matt Lineker batted well too and Ross Whiteley scored runs and took wickets. Such competition for places is healthy and augurs well. A complacent player won't produce the returns of one who has to work at his game.

That team in full, offering at least eight bowling options:

Hughes, Khawaja, Durston, Smith, Madsen, Park, Sutton, Clare, Rafiq, Groenewald, Palladino.

Same as last week will do nicely lads...

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