Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Midweek musings

Last night it was like an internet cafe in our house. Our son was on one laptop doing some of his university work, while Mrs P was catching up on her e mails on the netbook.

Meanwhile Rachel, as diametrically opposed to the stereotypical teenager as you could wish, was on the second laptop doing some casual surfing. I suspected she would be my best chance of success to check something for me.

"Could you have a look at NewsNow?" I asked her "and see if there's anything on there about Derbyshire."

"Sure", she replied and brought it up speedily. It's a family favourite for all sorts of stuff.

"Hmmm. Looks like Derbyshire have headed up here for a new signing" she said, a smile, as always, not too far from her lips.

"Eh?" My curiosity was aroused. Had we signed Ally Evans? Or Richie Berrington perhaps?

"What's it say" I asked her. Actually I was on the point of ripping the laptop from her hands, but she is only 14 and really sweet-natured...

The smile burst forth. "Chairman hails signing as a massive coup.... must be one of those big Highland ones eh?..."

Reeled in like a sucker. Good job I love her to bits. It was the Matlock Mercury reporting on the signing of Rana Naved, rather than an environmentally sound method of ground maintenance they were piloting at the County Ground.

There's little else to report really. The names of those hoping for election or re-election to the committee have been announced. I hope that members see the sense in bringing Kevin Dean on board, but other than that I just want to see people in the roles who will back the Chairman and allow a very sound structure to flourish. No empire builders, just a good support network and people who have a job and can carry it out with the minimum of fuss.

On the playing side, we've been working away for weeks and will be heading off to Barbados in the near future. I'm very happy with the current state of the squad. Yes, it could do with a little more experience but I'll settle for the youth coming through together. My only concern is still that I feel we are light in seam bowling. With Palladino, Clare and Groenewald I feel we can match any in the division and if Turner and Footitt have worked on their lines over the winter, without sacrificing pace, they are a handful. Yet that is all we have. Matt Higginbottom should hopefully be over last summer's injuries, but he is the only one coming through the Academy who is of an age where he might get an opportunity. The likes of Greg Cork, Harry White and Will Davis have plenty of potential, but the idea of their playing first eleven in the coming season is unrealistic.

We only need a couple of early injuries - and bowling in March and April will test the best of muscles - and we're suddenly down to Hobson's choice. Like the rest of you I'm aware that Ally Evans is on trial, but whether he is yet ready for senior cricket only Krikk will know. For me, that is the biggest question mark over the squad and could be the factor that scuppers the season. We've got more spinners than the Indian side of the 1970s and plenty of batsmen. I'm sure Karl Krikken has a plan B in case anything happens to Tom Poynton and I have rarely looked forward to a season with such excitement.

Indeed, compared to other counties we're having a blast. Glamorgan's Marcus North is injured, Essex have the trauma of the Westfield case to get over and Gloucestershire have less money than Rangers. Meanwhile Hampshire have lost a lot of players, as have Kent and Leicestershire, and replaced them with others who are not obviously in the same bracket.

I'll not go so far as to announce promotion a formality, but if we could add one more seamer to our ranks pre-season I'd venture that we will be up there with the best of them. A good team spirit goes a long way - and Derbyshire have it in spades.

Finally tonight, there's a good feature on Ross Whiteley's winter in Australia on the England and Wales Cricket Board website. Well worth a read as we approach another season.

Catch up with you soon.


Marc said...

I don,t wish to sound like a know-all Peakfan,but the seamer situation has concerned me since last season,as you well know. We are skating on very thin ice with this one and injuries are bound to take their toll at some stage.

Yes,we may see a different Turner and Footitt this season,but you know as well as i do,the odds are against it. Failing to strengthen this area is a potential achilles heel and i,m saying it now,in advance of it happening. I hope we get by with only minor difficulties,but if it goes pear shaped....

Anonymous said...

id suggest you batting is more of a problem, if gupthill and khwaja dont perform, and i would not suggest they did in 4 day cricket last year, there is not a banker for runs in the side. madsen is ok, but the likes of durston and hughs are extrmely inconsistent.

likewise the seamers will always pick up wickets at home, but i imagine the likes of palladino will struglle with the dukes ball and if the summer is dry (finally)as the times that miliatry medium bowlers pick up regular wickets must surely be at an end soon now the tiflex is thankfully gone.

id reckon derby will be mid pack, with the running being made by yorks, and possibly hants. cant see northants being amongst it again.

Peakfan said...

Fair point Anon - and please put a name to your posts if possible - but I'm not sure how 1700-run Wes Durston can be called inconsistent. Derbyshire's collective approach to run making last year saw 7-10 contribute well, though of course we'd like there to be less onus on them!
Nor am I sure that our attack is "military medium". Last year Groenewald and Clare were both clocked in the mid-80s and Footitt and Turner are quicker still. Footitt was clocked at 93mph in a televised game. If those two get their radars right, I am convinced that we can bowl wides out as well as anyone.
Mid pack maybe, but a young side that gets a little luck would ultimately settle for that and could just spring a surprise en route...

Anonymous said...

apologies, military medium was merely referring to palladino. he and the likes of stevens at kent should not be picking up wickets as regularly as they have as it shows the lack of depth in div 2. as for durston, he had a few good years at somerset but ultimately proved inconsistent in 4 day cricket. yorks should walk it, essex on paper look strong, but always do, but will likely fail as ever, whilst hants still have some serious quality unforunately, in the likes of adams, vince, ali. glam could be a dark horse.

Anonymous said...

I agree with peakfan, i dont see anyboby running away with it. i think yorkshire batting isnt strong enough to win the division but id expect them still to finish third. hampshire and essex should have to much for the rest.

king sindad.

Anonymous said...

ps scarbrough 2013 campayne has already started. LOL.