I said before the season that I was more optimistic about our four day challenge than the one day campaign. The four day has been a revelation thus far, exceeding even my expectations, but this afternoon's game at Headingley will be a benchmark of where we are in the limited overs stuff.
Last week was a wake up call against a good Warwickshire side, but we didn't really turn up and any resemblance to the Derbyshire side that has excited us this year was coincidence. Today we play a Yorkshire side that has come onto its game in the last week or so, with a long an talented batting side headed by Phil Jaques and a bowling side strengthened by Aussie Mitchell Starc. He will spearhead their attack in this squad:
Andrew Gale (capt), Adam Lyth, Phil Jaques, Gary Ballance, Joe Root,
Adil Rashid, Anthony McGrath, Gerard Brophy, Azeem Rafiq, Mitchell
Starc, Iain Wardlaw and Moin Ashraf
We will have to play well and work hard for a win, but we beat this side twice last year and are good enough to do so again.
No news on our squad yet, though I don't see too many changes from last week. Tony Palladino may come in for Mark Turner, but I'd see our team as follows:
Guptill, Hughes, Madsen, Durston, Redfern, Whiteley, Wainwright, Clare, Poynton, Groenewald, Palladino.
Garry Park is in the squad and there could be merit in moving Durston up to open and playing Park instead of an out of sorts Hughes, but the latter's bowling option could see him retain a place in the side.
It should be a good game - and Derbyshire have the ability to win, without doubt.
If we do, it will restart our 40-over campaign for sure.