Monday, 22 September 2014

Derbyshire v Leicestershire preview

For the last time this summer, a match preview, before the long winter nights draw in and we have to make do with anticipatory thoughts of next year.

And nice thoughts they are, too, based on Derbyshire's late season form. In one and four-day cricket we played well, nay, brilliantly at times and looked as good a team as there is in the division in the long game.

There's an unchanged squad for the visit of Leicestershire, a club that hasn't had far to look for problems. An awful season has been compounded by the recent loss of Buck to Lancashire, Cobb to Northamptonshire and, of course, Shiv Thakor to us. While they still have some decent players, the drain of talent from the club must be galling to supporters and administrators alike and a major influx of fresh talent is needed during the close season.

They have two former Derbyshire players in their squad, Dan Redfern and Atif Sheikh. Both had times at the County Ground when they seemed ripe with potential, but it was never truly realised. They will have points to prove tomorrow, but an inexperienced side shouldn't really stand in the way of the Derbyshire juggernaut.

That squad is:

Smith, Robson, Eckersley, Redfern, Pinner, Boyce, O'Brien, Wells, Taylor, Raine, Sykes, Shreck, Sheikh

As for Derbyshire, I don't expect many changes from The Oval. Tom Taylor may come in for a final game of the summer, but Wayne White should play and Mark Footitt definitely will, when he is one wicket short of a hundred in all competitions.

I look forward to seeing play on the last three days, always assuming that play continues into Friday. The forecast is nothing  to worry about and I fully expect to finish the summer in style.

It is the least that recent form deserves.

Fourth place beckons, as long a we remain focused. And after the start to the summer, that is quite an achievement.

1 comment:

notoveryet said...

The form book suggests only one outcome from this, but all the more reason for us to be wary. Wounded beasts can be very dangerous even on their last legs, and it's hard to imagine any team more wounded at the moment than Leicestershire. There seems to have been radical surgery on the team that lost to Essex so badly, with second XI reinforcements brought in, and their second XI has actually been doing pretty well. Add to that the appetite of our rejects to show us what they can do (and some previous for Derbyshire to allow it to happen), our own habit of dozing off during recent matches (acknowledged by Graeme Welch in his interview today), and the fact that, despite the recent scores against Essex, Leics batting is far stronger than ours - 36 bonus points compared to our 24, and 4 players in their team tomorrow with more than 800 runs compared to one in ours. Their bowling is indisputably weak (though they have one more bowling point than we do) but the flakiness of our batting at times could make up for that.

It should be plain sailing if we turn up as we did on the last day against Surrey, but it's no foregone conclusion.