There's an unwittingly funny typo on the club site as I write this blog.
England intentionals Owais Shah and James Foster, New Zealand Test
opener Hamish Rutherford, Ryan ten Doeschate and Graham Napier are all
expected to feature for the Eagles at Derbyshire’s Staffordshire
Yes, I am sure they did intend to be England internationals, but inconsistency counted against both. Yet they and the others mentioned will be a fierce test for our weakened and youthful squad for tomorrow's game at Leek.
There's no news on the visitor's squad but we will have to be at the very top of our game to beat one with that amount of talent. Anything less than 100% from them and we will be hammered. Then again, we all know that cricket doesn't work like that. Sometimes the sum of the parts doesn't make a very good whole and Derbyshire's battling manner, even in adversity and with a much-weakened squad, will ensure that the expected large crowd will see an excellent game on an expected lovely day.
Our 15-man squad lines up as: Chesney Hughes, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Wes Durston, Wayne Madsen, Paul
Borrington, Billy Godleman, Jonathan Clare, Alex Hughes, Richard
Johnson, Peter Burgoyne, David Wainwright, Tim Groenewald, Mark Footitt,
Mark Turner and Tom Knight.
You can't call that side and certainly not without prior knowledge of the wicket. In fairness, I don't feel Billy Godleman's recent form justifies inclusion, the first five as listed would be my top five, with Johnson at six, Clare seven and Burgoyne eight. The rest would be down to the track. Tom Knight would be worth a bowl ahead of the T20s if the wicket is favourable, but a slow one would help Alex Hughes medium pace and lengthen the batting. We could equally go with all three seamers plus Clare.
A tough call for a tough game. I think we will do extraordinarily well to get a win in this game and will need something special from one of the top four to do so.
An Essex win for me, but I would love to be proved wrong. Much will depend on the mentality of the Essex side that turns up, because you can guarantee that our boys will give it a go.
You can't ask for more than that.