Monday, 23 September 2013

Derbyshire v Warwickshire preview

So this is it.

Six months of training and playing come to a conclusion at the County Ground over the next four days, the conclusion of which will decide the division in which we play our cricket next year.

While eyes and ears will naturally be drawn to events at Trent Bridge, the Derbyshire players should largely ignore goings-on there. All they can do is their best. If they win, it might be enough to keep us up; then again, it might not. Should both events occur it will be cause for celebration; if they don't we shouldn't be to down-hearted.

Our late-season form has been worthy of a top-level side. Sadly, our early-season cricket had no sparkle, no pzazz and none of the fight that has so characterised the efforts of the past month and for much of last season. Having survival hopes dashed now would be cruel, but we mustn't forget those early issues and must learn from them so that, come what may, we're ready next time.

Karl Krikken has announced a fifteen-man squad for tomorrow, namely:

Ben Slater
Paul Borrington
Chesney Hughes
Wayne Madsen
Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Richard Johnson
Alex Hughes
Tom Poynton
David Wainwright
Peter Burgoyne
Tony Palladino
Tim Groenewald
Mark Turner
Mark Footitt

There's little point in attempting to second guess the side for this one. Will Chesney Hughes return? Will we go exclusively with seam? Will we rise to the occasion or subside, somewhat sadly?

I think a win is a massive 'ask' against a Warwickshire squad that includes England men Boyd Rankin (congrats on the Ashes call-up, old Derbyshire boy) and Chris Woakes. They are missing a few players, but there's plenty of talent in their squad and they will want to finish strongly. Their squad:

Varun Chopra (Captain)
Keith Barker
Maurice Chambers
Rikki Clarke
Laurie Evans
Recordo Gordon
Ateeq Javid
Jeetan Patel
William Porterfield
Stuart Poynter (Wicketkeeper)
Boyd Rankin
Ian Westwood
Chris Woakes

You pay your money and take your choice on this one. I hope we win and I hope we stay up. I'll be happy as a sand boy if we manage it, but have a feeling that the fates might conspire against us somewhere along the line, either at Derby or Nottingham.

Should they do so, we can at least reflect on an excellent last month and look forward to a strengthened side competing strongly next summer. 

Then again, that could happen in the top tier, just as easily...

Give it your all, boys. We can ask no more than that.


notoveryet said...

I agree, Peakfan, that the odds are against us now on this one. Four days of good weather in prospect means that both matches should play out in their full length, and that should mean a result at Derby at least without the need to arrange a result pitch. We know that a typical Derby result with a couple of batting bonus points probably won't be enough for us, so we need to have something good enough to give us the opportunity of three or four and rely on our bowlers to take wickets even in decent conditions as they did against Middlesex.

Palladino, Groenewald and Footitt you would assume are automatic selections, and I'd go with Wainwright. Patchy though his form has been, he's still taking wickets, which Burgoyne doesn't really look like doing enough. I'll ignore Marc's baiting over Turner - 6 wickets in 5 matches tells its own story about his penetration at this level, even without his ability to lose control.

The one change I'd look at is Hughes for Hughes - Chesney at 5 gives a little more weight to the middle order, and average though his form has been in general, he's one of the very few batsmen in the side with the capacity and ability to play a big innings. Alex has contributed only spasmodically (though crucially on a couple of occasions) and unless he can be trusted to bowl (which he clearly isn't) doesn't offer enough with the bat on a consistent basis to justify 6.

As far as Notts and Somerset are concerned, a well-connected contact of mine at Trent Bridge is confident that Notts will be going all out for a win. The mood seems to be that Notts are too good to go down, and are determined to show it to their supporters, who will not be too impressed if they take the timid route of looking for a draw. Somerset 100 all out and Notts 150-1 by the close will do very nicely tomorrow, take the pressure off us to get batting points, and let us concentrate on getting the win. Dead simple, really.

Peakfan said...

As always a well thought out and lucid post notoveryet. I agree with that side and I'd settle with those scores at Trent Bridge tomorrow night!

Marc said...

I agree the odds are against us but i,m not sure that beating an average Warwickshire side with nowt to play for and shorn of some regulars should be quite such a "big ask".

The squad gives no real indication of Krikken,s thinking,as most angles and possibilities are covered. If we do go with a spinner then I agree with Notoveryet that it has to be Wainwright in front of Burgoyne. I still say Turner could be useful,possibly more so than a want away Footitt.

I also agree the exchange of Hughes,s might be a sensible move and should give us a bit more depths to the batting. I have to say I,m a little disappointed we haven,t brought Durston back from the cold. A poor season yes,but still a capable player.

We can only concentrate on our game,though I would willingly settle for Notoveryet,s senario at Trent Bridge. The first day is very important and we need to have a good one whether we bat or bowl. We need as many points as we can possibly muster. All fingers are firmly crossed.