I'm not overly concerned about the fact that Derbyshire have been on the wrong end of their game against Leicestershire today. Pre-season matches count for nothing when the action proper begins, but today was a good workout for the bowlers and fielders, even though they spent much of it fetching balls back that had been hit to all parts by Messrs Cobb and Du Toit. Both are dangerous players and against bowlers shaking off the rustiness of winter were always likely to do well once they got going.
What was more surprising to me was that Cobb continued to bat having reached a century. Surely, in a match of this kind, where players need time in the middle, he should have been retired to give some of their middle order time at the crease? I'd like to think that Derbyshire might have done things differently, but, Hughes apart, none of our batsmen really got going. Plenty of time to put that right and while runs are runs in any form of the game, I'm more concerned that we have them tuned up for the start of the season.
My biggest concern was the injury sustained by Tony Palladino. A broken jaw will take a week or two to settle down and means immediately that we are a seamer short. My concerns about the depth of the seam attack, expressed over the winter, immediately come to the fore.
To my knowledge there are still players out there who could do a useful job as an extra seam bowler for us, among them Steven Cheetham from Lancashire and Chris Whelan, who was surprisingly released by Worcestershire. Indeed, the latter looked a decent bowler when he took four wickets against us at Derby in the T20 last year and I'm still firmly of the opinion that one of those lads would be useful for us in the next six months.
131-7 chasing 307 as I close is a hammering, but one I'd sooner have now than later. It shows there is still much to do.