Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Derbyshire v Durham YB40

Meaningless game to a great extent tomorrow, though professional pride and a need to build reputations should dictate a strong Derbyshire performance against Durham at the County Ground.

I don't expect many changes to the team from last night, though it is good to see Tony Palladino in the squad, who may get a run out ahead of next week's game. The news that both he and Jon Clare are returning to full fitness is welcome, as the successful triumvirate of Palladino, Groenewald and Clare from last season have rarely featured together this year.

It would, I think, be a gamble to play both Palladino and Clare against Middlesex unless we were very confident in their fitness. In a game of such importance we can scarce afford to lose a seamer early in the game.

There's been a few mails flying around with 'conspiracy theories' about Clare and his fitness/unfitness. It seems to me that we can't have a genuine injury round these parts without it being construed as having hidden meanings. The reality is that as a club with a small nucleus of experienced players we have endured too many injuries this summer. Chanderpaul and Durston miss out tomorrow to ensure they are fit for Middlesex and the squad has the look of a team selected from a Scout troop.

Still, it is an opportunity that some will take and others won't and, in the long term, that separates the cricketing wheat from the chaff.

Weather permitting, I'll be skippering my work side tomorrow in our debut match against a local club, so my blog will perforce be later. It promises to be interesting, with our side including five players with varying experience and six blokes who are very keen but have never played cricket before.

Still, from such acorns substantial trees grow. We'll be on tour next year...

See you tomorrow.


Marc said...

Looks very much like rain will put paid to this match,or at least part of it.

Palladino must play and prove his fitness. I don,t think for a second that Clare will be a contender for Middlesex,even though he may be named in the squad.

For this game I would let Slater open with Hughes. The remainder would be 3)Borrington 4)Madsen 5)Godleman 6)Johnson 7)Hughes A 8)Burgoyne 9)Wainwright 10)Palladino 11)Knight

As you say,the match is a dead rubber but it wouldn,t do us any harm to go into the Middlesex game on the back of a win. If we do play I just can,t see anything other than a Durham victory.Hope i,m wrong.

notoveryet said...

5.20pm this evening, leaving work, look at the sky, think about ringing my wife and asking if she likes the idea of a quick trip down the A52 and an evening at the County Ground, look at the sky, think about Derbyshire’s current position against Durham, look at the sky, think about the last time I did this before the humiliation by Leics, think about the likely result and go home for an evening of runner bean freezing and listen to the inevitable defeat on the radio.

Wrong decision!

I’m not sure I can take entirely seriously as an indicator of our future development or prospects any match where Wayne Madsen opens the bowling and takes 3-27 in 8 overs. Someone in India might be suddenly paying attention to this wonderful new all-rounder we’ve found and getting the IPL contract ready, but I really don’t think we can expect him to be one of the top run scorers in the country, captain of a struggling side, and top bowler for long. This looks as if it’s more to do with the disintegration of Durham’s season over the last couple of weeks. From contenders for three trophies, they’ve gone to losers in two and a long way off the third.

Disappointing as this will be for their supporters, it’s worth reflecting on their journey over the last twelve months. Coming towards the end of July last year, they were rooted to the bottom of Division 1, played 10, won none and lost 5. They might have lost a couple more if they hadn’t been saved by rain so could have had a record similar to ours at the same stage. They won their 11th match (like us) and went on to win 4 out of 5, stay up and spent most of this season as serious contenders.

I’m not going to suggest we can do what they did. They weren’t losing their matches as heavily as we have, had a deep reservoir of experience to draw on, and changed their captain. But I really hope that the nearest thing we have to a sports psychologist in the camp is talking to players about omens (all cricketers being deeply superstitious – I never bowled well if I shaved in the morning so spent the last 20 years of my “career” with stubble if I was playing that day or night – precedents, hope, etc.

Which brings me to Clare. If the pitch is anything like we might expect next week against Middlesex, doesn’t Jon Clare (half-pace or not – he wasn’t much more when he took 5 against Somerset) with Groenewald, Palladino, and Footitt look like a possible win? It could end up with Palladino and Clare out of action again, and Footitt going for 8 an over, but it’s a chance I want to see us taking. We might scrape a win or two against Somerset and Surrey with the side we put out against Sussex, but a win against Middlesex will lift confidence and morale to such an extent that I could see us repeating Durham’s escape act last year.

As to conspiracy theories about Clare…it’s not surprising when the first official word that he has been injured for the last month is the news that he might be fit again. Likewise Redfern – it looks like baffling selection decisions in the absence of news that he’s injured. There’s no doubting the quality of our comms during matches but there are still things to be earned about telling supporters about what really matters to them.