So, imagine you're Karl Krikken tonight and have got to finalise your team from the thirteen-man squad announced for the Middlesex game tomorrow. What do you do?
While Mark Eklid in this morning's DET suggested that Krikk might stick with the youngsters, I think that Matt Higginbottom will miss out, probably alongside Richard Johnson. The latter may get the nod over Tom Poynton, as some have suggested, but I see no reason to drop Tom. His presence would still see a likely eleven that features four Academy graduates, no mean feat and something to be proud of.
I am surprised that there's neither Wainwright nor Knight in the squad, so can only surmise we're going to slug it out toe to toe with the much-vaunted Middlesex seam attack, leaving Durston, Burgoyne and our new all-rounder, Wayne Madsen, to bowl the spin if required. Did the media reaction to the track against Durham change the thinking? Who's to say, but the decision is made and we'll stand or fall by it.
Middlesex's squad is as follows:
Whichever two are omitted (Patel and Collymore is my guess) that is a strong side and we will need to be at our best to beat them. Should Steve Finn be omitted from the England side for the final Test he can return for the second day onwards. This will be tough match and we will need eleven players at their very best to compete, let alone have expectation of a win.
Yet we must hope and battle - and then? I long ago ceased to be surprised by what happens in cricket, but if I could predict which Derbyshire side would turn up for a given game it would be a good deal easier. If the right one plays tomorrow and over the next four days, this game could just be a good deal closer than most will expect; likewise if Middlesex treat us lightly.
Logic suggests we will be beaten, but you never can tell.
Give it your all lads. We can't ask for more.