Monday, 8 September 2014
Glamorgan v Derbyshire preview
The sight of a superstar - no exaggeration, given the Indian batsman's reputation on the sub-continent - prepared to get out into the community is immensely gratifying. That he did so with Wayne Madsen, an outstanding figure head as club captain, was no real surprise, but for budding young sportsmen and women, today will have been a day that they will never forget.
Tomorrow sees Pujara make his first-class debut for the county in Cardiff and there will be many, besides me, whose eyes will be trained on Wales tomorrow. He has some adjusting to do in his technique, that's why he's here of course, but I have every confidence that we will see a trademark innings or two in the remainder of the summer.
It's not all about him, of course. We are going for a fourth win on the trot and the team looks settled and confident. Sustaining the current form to the end of the season will be important for morale and will send the players into their winter work with renewed vigour.
I was pleased to see Billy Godleman get a year's contract earlier today, one which his hard work this summer deserves. In the early part of the summer he appeared on the road out, especially when an injury stopped him from playing for a few weeks. Yet the coaching staff have tweaked his technique and the player's hard work has earned a just reward.
Only a fool would doubt his ability and one has only to watch him bat for a few overs to see that his defence is secure and his strokes, when he decides the time is right to show them, are many and fluent. The surprise is that someone so talented hasn't scored more runs, but that will perhaps be realised after a winter's work in the nets.
The rest of the side picks itself and the only change I expect from the game at Derby is Pujara replacing Chesney Hughes in this side:
Four seamers and two spinners: I'll take that for a balanced attack, as well as a long batting line up.
As for Glamorgan, they have named the following thirteen:
JA Rudolph, WD Bragg, GP Rees, CB Cooke, J Allenby, DL Lloyd, AHT Donald, MA Wallace (capt and wkt-keeper), GG Wagg, DA Cosker, MG Hogan, KA Bull and WT Owen.
They are a decent side with some good players, but we beat them well at the 3AAA County Ground and could well do so again. The weather appears to be set fair and so are Derbyshire.
While a rude awakening could await us from a Welsh side with a few points to prove, I'm going for a fourth successive win and another step or two up the table.
A ton for Pujara would do just fine...