Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Derbyshire v Yorkshire preview

The weather forecast suggests that a positive result in this match might rely on one of the two sides playing extraordinary cricket while the other one doesn't. Logic suggests that Derbyshire won't give Yorkshire much of a chance if the game is tight. At the end of it all, why should we?

Yorkshire could do with a win here. A draw would do us nicely and we'd still be well clear if we got one on Saturday. A win would be special and would set a few minds into overdrive, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here...

Derbyshire announced the 12 that I pretty much expected and the final place appears to lie between Chesney Hughes and Mark Turner and for me that selection will dictate our approach to the game. Picking Turner would be a bold move - a quick bowler who might get lift and pace and allow Derbyshire to revisit the halcyon days of the Barnett era, with four seamers bowling in rotation. I suppose Hughes could play instead of Wainwright at six, leaving us with Chesney and Durston as spinners, but I would be loathe to omit a player who has done a lot to get us to this stage against his former county.

Playing the extra batsman tells Yorkshire that they have to bowl us out twice and would make it a more difficult task for them to do so. My own thoughts, based on the fact that weather will take time out of the game, is to go with three seamers and the extra batsman. If we were faced with four full days of sunshine I would have gone with the extra seam bowler, but I would hope that Palladino, Groenewald and Clare could shoulder the burden in a game that might only see 2-3 days cricket.

I would assume that Matt Lineker will open, but think we missed a trick in not playing him on Sunday against the Unicorns. I don't think he batted in the Premier League and a knock at Chesterfield would have done him good ahead of this game. Of course, Hughes did well but Lineker would have enjoyed a bat against that attack in a match that effectively didn't matter.

As for Yorkshire, they miss skipper Andrew Gayle with a hip injury, but with the likes of Jaques, Ballance, McGrath, Root and Lyth in their side they will not lack for runs. They also have Andrew Bairstow back from England duty with a point to prove, while Steve Harmison will want to show that there is still life in the old dog after his loan move from Durham.

It will be a big match, a battle royal and a game that deserves to be well supported. Get behind our lads, those of you who are fortunate enough to live nearby and get along.

Whatever happens - in four days time we will still be top of the table.

In closing tonight, warm congratulations to Tom Knight, who will play for England Under 19s tomorrow at Leicester against Ireland in a World Cup warm up. The lad has done really well to get into such an elite squad and his changed appearance from last summer is indicative of how much work he has put in to get himself fit.

I'd like to extend the best wishes of all Derbyshire fans to him as he prepares for the World Cup proper, which will be a great experience.

Knock 'em dead Tom!

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