I'm sure that Karl Krikken would have appreciated getting his batsmen and bowlers a little more time in the middle over recent days against Cardiff MCCU, but on the flip side it has been a good couple of days for us, mssing out on a round of county fixtures when the weather has been at its worst.
Derbyshire will go into the next game against Gloucestershire at the County Ground second in the table after that round of matches, with Kent four points ahead but having played a game more. There are currently twelve points between us and third place, which happens to be this week's opponents...
Good weather and a positive result in our favour would reinforce an impressive start and I am sure that Krikk is making sure the players remain focused and compete for every ball. If they do that I am convinced that this is another game we can win. Pre-season I saw Essex and Yorkshire as our biggest rivals and still do, though the white rose has had a challenging start and three straight draws. Essex meanwhile are missing batting guns Shah and ten Doeschate, both in India and will surely pick up speed when they return after the IPL concludes.
Putting a little distance between ourselves and the chasing pack is not something in which we are overly experienced, certainly not in my time of watching the club. Given that covers 40-plus summers it speaks volumes, but the priority is to treat every session as a microcosm. Win more sessions than the other team and you will generally, weather permitting, win the match (unless you make a pig's ear of your bad sessions of course...)
I'll preview the game in greater detail later in the week, but suffice to say that while Gloucestershire are a competitive team under John Bracewell - and certainly one that is stronger than its individual parts - I feel that we have enough talent of our own to win this one.
I don't see changes to the batting and the only decision, barring injury, is likely to be whether Mark Footitt can continue to keep Tim Groenewald out of the side if the latter is now fit. I was impressed by the way the former blew the Leicestershire tail away at Derbyshire with fast yorkers and his left arm pace is a potent weapon, generating wear in the follow through for David Wainwright to exploit as the game progresses.
Yet Groenewald has been our star turn in recent seasons and it is hard to see him as a long-term omission. I suspect we may see him given a match in the Seconds to prove his fitness and gain rhythm before a return, but it is further evidence of a developing squad. It is some time since Derbyshire had players of genuine quality outside the team (the cynical would say there have been too many times we had few of them in it...) and healthy competition is no bad thing.
If we can beat a competitive Gloucestershire outfit, you might even see some of the southern media starting to appear at the County Ground in force.
Or is that a porcine flying squadron I see scrambling over yonder?