Saturday, 19 July 2014

Derbyshire v Glamorgan preview

There will doubtless have been a spring in the step of a few players after the result at Cheltenham this week and rightly so. It was a team effort to be proud of and one that gave them justifiable optimism for the remainder of the summer. From being down among the dead men, we can start to look - perhaps furtively at this stage - at a position of mid-table respectability.

Maybe the latter isn't the right word. because there's enough talent in this squad to be better than that, but the Gloucestershire game was perhaps the first one of the summer where we replicated the success of the 2012 summer. All the players did their bit and that's what happens in the best sides. There will be days when someone takes a starring role, but there are few games of cricket dominated by one man and most are won by an eleven that is greater than the sum of its constituent parts.

For all that this has been a largely miserable summer, I think that we will look back on it in time as the catalyst in our fortunes. A few players have been proven to be short of the level required for one reason or another, while others have made their first forays into what could well be successful careers.

Slater, Taylor, Cotton, Cork, Hosein, Knight - these are names that could form the nucleus of Derbyshire sides for the next five to ten years, alongside Alex Hughes and Tom Poynton, while more will emerge. All have much work to do, but Graeme Welch will be happy with the young talent at his disposal and now needs time to work with it and bring in others who can augment it over the next couple of winters.

For now, he will go with the eleven that did so well at Cheltenham and rightly so. The eleven thus lines up:

Slater, Godleman, Madsen, Chanderpaul, Durston, Hughes, Cross, Wainwright, Palladino, Taylor, Footitt.

For those who like their statistics, Mark Footitt needs six wickets to reach fifty for the first time in what has already been his most successful summer in the county game. Meanwhile, Shiv needs 18 to reach five hundred runs and has six fifties in his ten first-class innings so far. Hopefully this is the one in which he goes past three figures.

If we win this one, we can leapfrog both Gloucestershire and our visitors tomorrow, Glamorgan. They have some fine players, with South African Jacques Rudolph and Aussie Jim Allenby turning in consistent performances. William Bragg leads their batting, however and they bat long, with Mark Wallace a constant thorn in our side over the years.

Graeme Wagg returned from a side strain the other night but may be deemed not ready for a four-day game, so their former player James Harris, recently returned on loan from Middlesex, could open the bowling opposite the very impressive Aussie Michael Hogan, with spin in the hands of Dean Cosker, who seems to have been around since I was at school...

These are two well-matched sides and with a decent forecast over the next four days it should be a good game. Who will come out on top is hard to call, but if we can replicate the form and commitment of Cheltenham, we're good enough to win this one and continue a belated but important  move up the table.

As always, I await your thoughts with interest.

Postscript - for those who have suggested elsewhere that this is our worst-ever summer, I suggest that you look at the fortunes of our county in 1920. We used 38 players that summer and lost seventeen of our eighteen matches, the other being abandoned without a ball bowled.

Our highest run-scorer just topped five hundred, while Arthur Morton (700 overs) and Sam Cadman (500) carried the attack and bowled more than everyone else combined.

It was the nadir of our fortunes and Cadman subsequently became the county coach responsible for the successful side that came together in the late 1920's and were a force in the 1930's.

As I've said before, time, gentlemen, please...

Postscript 2 - Glamorgan squad:  J Rudolph, W Bragg, M Goodwin, C Cooke, B Wright, J Allenby, M Wallace (capt), J Harris, D Cosker, K Bull, W Owen, M Hogan.


Anonymous said...

A small point....judging from Tom Knight's bowling in the league this year the revamped action is a long way from working....he'll have to make it as a batsman it seems....

Marc said...

I think it had to be the same squad if all are fit and well. We can take plenty of encouragement from the Gloucestershire performance,the big test now of course is whether we can build on it.

It,s hard to see Elstone being anything other than 12th man and to be honest,I think the break will do him good. We still have respectability to play for and the chance to overhaul some of those above us. If we play in similar fashion to how we did at Cheltenham we have a genuine chance of winning.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

Oddly I have a strange feeling about this game. Confidence!

Lj said...

Why and who decided to change Tom Knights action??

Peakfan said...

Lj - I will be doing a piece on Tom Knight and his progress this summer in the near future and will give you my opinion on that in due course.
Suffice to say for now that I think he will return next summer as an all rounder of considerable talent...