Saturday, 12 July 2014

Derbyshire v Yorkshire preview

I don't expect us to beat Yorkshire tomorrow.

There, I've said it. I'm not being defeatist, just sensible and realistic and we need to use the remaining fixtures in the T20 to give valuable match experience for another year. It is a little frustrating that it has taken us till near the end of the competition to come up with a side that can be competitive, if lacking the experience to do the right thing at the right time. That's something you cannot buy, so we need to give players the opportunity to play now in the hope and expectation of reaping future reward.

Putting Marcus North at the top of the order was something I advocated back at the start of the competition. He did his job to some extent last night and all the best sides in this format generally work to the principle that one of their best batsmen opens the innings and gets maximum time at the crease in the hope he will bat through, or come close to it. North didn't do that, but he gave us a launch pad and, as a player who takes a while to get everything working as it should do, the best place for him is at the top of the order.

Gaz Cross showed some of his Lancashire form last night and to be fair to the bloke, he is a much better bat than he has shown in our colours. As I have said before, a winter with little preparation for first-class cricket has cost him, but he will be keen to make an impression with regard to another summer. Much will depend on Tom Poynton's return to fitness and the plans of Harvey Hosein post-school, but Cross is a good player who will be desperate to show his true form is more akin to that shown last night.

There's no news on the Derbyshire side for tomorrow as I write, but I'd be inclined to go with the following:

North
Durston
Cross
Madsen
Godleman
Knight
Hughes (A)
Wainwright
Palladino
Cork
Cotton

Chesney is struggling so would miss out for me, while I hope that Durston is fit to return. Similarly, Mark Turner could be very expensive on a small ground and I'd be inclined to go with a couple of young lads to see what they can do. Cork has so far improved with every game, while Cotton impressed against India and would be worth a spell against a good side.

As for Yorkshire, they come with a squad strong enough to omit Andrew Gale last night, one that is packed with talent:

Bairstow, Bresnan, Brooks, Finch, Gale, Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Pyrah, Rafiq, Rashid, Robinson, Sidebottom, Williamson.

There should be plenty of runs and, with a good forecast, an excellent crowd.

I just wish I could see the result going another way than in favour of the visitors.

Postscript - same squad as for last night, so there's unlikely to be many changes.

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