Thank you for your emails and comments after the Lancashire game, which were, as usually, well made. I thought I'd take a few moments before the next match to respond to them, where necessary.
Tom Knight in the team, as suggested by Mark? He will be a strong contender for the one-day matches, as a clean hitter, excellent fielder and good bowler. I think that the club are taking their time with his bowling, as evidenced by his only bowling four overs in the second team game at Northampton. To be fair, we were awash with spinners in that game anyway and there seemed little point on a terrific batting pitch to bowl someone who had worked hard on his action.
His day and time will come. He is a good cricketer and I am less bothered about the comment of 'Anon' that he would get 'hammered' at county level, based on his league form. In the medium to long term he will take his share of county wickets and, like every other bowler, will get some stick at times.
I once hit a Scotland bowler for four boundaries in an over. It didn't make me a better player than him (I wasn't) but I chanced my arm and got lucky. His figures took a hammering, my street cred went up but I never deluded myself that I was a better player. I remain confident that Tom Knight will become a very good county cricketer, though whether as an all-rounder, a batsman who bowls or a bowler who bats I couldn't say.
He would really only be in my championship team right now if Wes was unavailable and if his new action could be trusted. You don't often need two spinners in a side in April, May and June and only the coaches know if he is more likely than David Wainwright to fill such a role if required. Wainers scored an unbeaten 92 to earn a draw for the seconds yesterday, almost matching what Knight did in the first innings. He was stating a case for inclusion, just as Tom Poynton did.
Losing a point in that first game for a slow over rate was silly and unprofessional. We're better than that and sixteen overs an hour shouldn't be an issue, even with an attack largely made up of seam bowlers. I don't expect to see it happen again and am sure that the issues around it have been amply addressed within the confines of the dressing room.
As I said the other day, there's no need for knee-jerk reaction. I don't expect major, if any, change, for the next game because the perceived first eleven are better than they showed at Derby. Gloucestershire have some good players, but they're no Lancashire and I expect an improved performance from Sunday, weather permitting.
Finally for now, congratulations to Huw Lloyd who leads the Fantasy League after two matches, just ahead of Robert Tomlinson. Modesty forbids my saying who rose from nineteenth to seventh this week (ahem...) but I will be more surprised than any of you if it lasts.
I fully expect several key selections of my side to contract a mystery ailment later in the season, just when they are showing form and just after I have used my final substitute...
See you soon.