Monday, 8 July 2013

Durham v Derbyshire preview

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:

Chesney Hughes,
Wayne Madsen,
Shivnarine Chanderpaul,
Dan Redfern,
Wes Durston,
Richard Johnson,
Tom Poynton,
David Wainwright,
Jonathan Clare,
Tony Palladino,
Mark Turner
Tim Groenewald,
Mark Footitt

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.


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you peakfan, johnson seemed to be doing both forms well, id had given slater another crack rather than put poynton back in. id have opened with slater and hughes.


Oliver said...

Funny world isn't it. I doubt many of us on this blog expected Footitt to get career best figures today did we? I can only presume Palladino has some sort of niggle? I know he's not been on fire this season but lots of players have suffered the same fate and been given plenty of chances.

Great start from Derbyshire in fairness. Great opportunity for a first win, and it would be fantastic if the T20 success gave us a Championship boost this season, just as it knocked us back last year.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

I said much the same, though more briefly, in an email to a fellow Derbyshire supporting colleague on seeing the team.

There is simply no reason to be playing two wicket keepers. If Johnson plays (as I believe he should) he should keep wicket. That would have allowed another batsman to play rather than effectively hamstringing ourselves.

A decent enough day but it fails to cover up muddling selections.