In the absence of any news on injuries, I'm a little surprised - nay, make that baffled and disappointed - in the squad for the match against Durham that starts tomorrow.
There's no place for Billy Godleman, which is not a surprise given his form this summer, but nor is there a place for Ben Slater, who would have been most people's choice of batsman to replace him. Slater hasn't pulled up the trees in his first couple of championship matches, but neither has he been afforded the opportunity to open the batting, which is, of course, his preferred position.
I will be frank and say that I don't think we have been fair to the lad. Karl Krikken can only be basing his decision on supposition, as there is simply no way of knowing whether Slater can make a go of the first-class game in any other way. He continues to score heavily in the lower levels as an opener and should have been given the opportunity to cement a first team place, such as that given to Godleman. He's had half a championship season and surely Slater, in the absence of many viable alternatives, deserves a crack?
As it is, the following squad has been named:
From this I can only suggest that Johnson will open and that Poynton and a seamer will drop out tomorrow, although the presence of Tom Poynton in a 13-man squad might mean that Johnson will concentrate on his batting and Poynton keep wicket. If that is the case then I will be even more surprised, as it effectively says that Johnson cannot be trusted to do both, something I don't accept and flies in the face of such worthy duel exponents as Prior, Davies and Read in the current county game.
I know we have injuries and that we are low on numbers of players both fit and in form, but I cannot believe that we couldn't find one who could slot into the middle order, rather than have two keepers in the squad. We will see tomorrow, but unlike most of Krikk's selections I am more than a little surprised by this one.
As for Durham, they are short of Paul Collingwood (injured) and Graeme Onions, who is in the Test squad. They are big losses, as such players would be to any side. Derbyshire should be 'up' after their recent T20 performances and the match offers an opportunity to claim a first championship win.
We will need to bat well, of course, then bowl with greater penetration and discipline than has marked our championship campaign so far. Yet the players are capable, as we well know. Odd squad selection notwithstanding, I think we could do well in this game.
We'll find out tomorrow. Come on lads, make it a good one.