Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Derbyshire v Kent day 3

With a day to go of this game, there's two ways that it could pan out - always assuming that the weather turns a little more favourable.

It could be a dull as dishwater final day, where Kent bat to earn some points and everyone goes home with the cricket equivalent of a lucky bag from a kid's party - a few bits and pieces, but nothing of real substance to get excited about.

On the other hand, the two skippers could come to a morning agreement to make a game of it. Kent could declare overnight, we could have a merry old thrash before lunch and into early afternoon and then leave them a total to chase in the final innings.

There's the possibility of another Derbyshire collapse tomorrow morning, after the pitch has spent another day under covers, but also a risk for Kent in chasing a total that would start with the score at 108. It would, however, make for a day that identified the risks each side were prepared to take in attempting to win the game - and, indeed, promotion.

There is a danger of over-reaction in some quarters to yesterday's collapse by Derbyshire. Throughout a season of cricket, all teams come across wickets that heavily favour the batsmen, where the top order are expected to cash in . Then there will be others that are heavily weighted towards the bowlers, where conditions allow the flexing of muscles with genuine intent as bowlers remove their sweaters.

Such a day was yesterday. Doug Bollinger is a very good player with Test and one-day international wickets to his name and will have been very aware that the cards favoured him considerably. So too Darren Stevens, a cricketer of skill and experience who will have fancied a wicket that had been under covers for a day and a half, even had the atmosphere not lent itself to swinging the ball too. Put these two things together and there's no team would much fancy batting, especially one low on confidence and experience.

It is a well-known among cricketers and groundsmen that wickets spending long periods under cover while it rains 'sweat' and produce intriguing variables. If one acknowledges, as we all do on a regular basis, the skill, experience and talent of Moore, Madsen and Chanderpaul, is it not likely that something is afoot when all three go cheaply?

With four of the top seven making season debuts, it is little wonder that we struggled. Had the toss gone the other way, I have no doubt that the same would have applied to Kent. All things considered, Scott Elstone can be pleased with how he gritted it out, while Alex Hughes confirmed his talent with an unbeaten championship personal best that will doubtless be surpassed before too long.

It hasn't been the start we all envisaged, but there's a lot happened in the past few weeks that none of us expected, on and off the pitch.

Things will improve, but we all need to appreciate that there will be times when we don't do well because the other team is better and/or conditions are against us. We've no more right to do well at such times than any other team, as plenty of others are finding this summer.But things WILL improve.

Hold tight, my friends and try to enjoy the ride...


Anonymous said...

I was one of about sixty fans at the ground on Monday. Some of Bollinger's good-length lifters were nearly unplayable. Elstone played well and was given out LBW when very well forward, while Hughes and Cross looked as though they will score runs. So I generally concur with your comments but there just has to be more consistency to the batting.
Today will surely provide some pointers as to whether the bowlers have the cutting edge to dismiss sides this season. If not, the best we can hope for is mid-table respectability.

Incidentally,there was no-one on the gates when we arrived at the ground around 3.30. A reduced admission charge would have been acceptable but I wonder if the club can afford to be so generous.

Old Supporter

Marc said...

Whilst partially agreeing with your thoughts Peakfan,there are one or two points which have been overlooked.

Yes,there are times when bowlers/batsmen come out on top.There are times when pitches are not great,weighted too much either one way or the other.There are odd occasions when a pitch may change quite dramatically during a game,for various reasons. But there are also times when you have to say the batting is simply not good enough.

Back in 2012 there were far too many occasions when this happened. It was the bowlers and the tail enders who took much of the credit for the fact we gained promotion. There were also some good batting performances,but too few for anyone to avoid the feeling we were doing much more than getting away with it.

Last year the batting was found out to a far greater extent. Once again,early season pitches were blamed by some,until it became quite obvious to one and all,the problems went much deeper than that and were never really solved.
We were a one and a half man batting unit last season as the statistics quite clearly show.

So far this season the pattern is very much the same.If Madsen and Chanderpaul fail,the result is the team fails. Our opponents have often managed to score runs,plenty of them at times,on more or less the same sort of pitch we have capitulated on. It is hard to put forward any valid argument to defend some of these occurances.If we have some batsmen who can only perform after a fortnight of good weather and the temperature is 25c,then quite obviously we have the wrong players,or at least they are playing in the wrong country. Perhaps Whiteley had the right idea,demanding to go to Australia.

We haven,t really bowled well either,though if the bowlers were becoming a tad frustrated at the number of times they are expected to pull us out of the mire (with bat and ball),they can hardly be blamed. Sooner or later we may begin to score some runs,but if it,s the latter then the season will effectively be over. Our supremo is obviously less than satisfied,hence the changes.It could be that further changes may be necessary in due course,we shall see. Welch may be accused by some of pulling the trigger too soon,but to me it,s preferable to not pulling it at all. We all want to see the club succeed but the time for excuses is over and the players need to stand up and be counted.

Peakfan said...

Fair comments Marc and I won't pretend we have played well so far. However my response was largely based on day 2 here which was a lottery for batsmen.
We must and can do better with whatever personnel are deemed best