Monday, 18 August 2014

Monday musings

So, we're on Sky this Thursday - going to be a biggie, huh?

It may be against a Gloucestershire side short of Will Gidman, which would help us considerably, but the bottom line is that if Derbyshire play to potential they can win this game.

We are a far better side than played pretty dismally against Yorkshire and there will be no better way to illustrate that than on national television. Indeed, if we made the knock-out stages of the competition it would be a triumph of some magnitude.

We are indeed a better side than the one that took the snide comment from Vic Marks in this morning's media. "Even Derbyshire would bowl out this Indian side" said Mr Marks, displaying more than a little ignorance of the fact that we have two of the better seam bowlers in the division in our ranks. It was a crass, low blow and unworthy of a man who is usually a better journalist than he was cricketer.

If nothing else, it should serve as motivation for the side to show what they can do this week.

The good news today was that Chesney Hughes scored 178 for the second eleven against Nottinghamshire at Denby, while Scott Elstone, who has been badly out of form in this competition, made an impressive and important 95. Whether the innings are sufficient to preserve one place or gain elevation for another remains to be seen, but we must all trust Graeme Welch to make the right choice, which I am sure he will do. More than any of us, he knows what form the players are showing in the nets and how their confidence levels are.

There is no doubt that an in form Chesney Hughes would be an asset to a Derbyshire side and would walk into it, but he really needs some runs to cement obvious talent. His huge double century at Headingley last summer is a distant memory and he needs to show that he has the mental reserves, as well as technical ability, to be consistent at top level.

More on that game as the week progresses, but it is a season-defining one, for sure.

Finally tonight, three players who have been mentioned in despatches as potential signing targets for next summer signed new deals at Warwickshire today.

Laurie Evans, Oliver Hannon-Dalby and Richard Jones all signed deals, but I am sure that Graeme Welch has plenty of names on his 'hit' list for the winter - and for all we know, perhaps none of those players were ever on it.

More from me soon.

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