Thank you for your comments following last night's game. which was the first 'downer' of the season so far.
I do think that we need to remember the quality of the opposition and also that plans that have been weeks, if not months, in the preparation stage have been cast asunder by injuries. Of course, in sport one expects injuries, but perhaps not on the scale that we have seen so far this summer.
Now, of course, we have lost Wayne Madsen for at least a month as fortune's cull on our senior players continues apace. It places greater responsibility on those still standing, of course, but I can't help believing that we are a better side than we showed last night.
There are teams in the north group that, at this stage of our development, we can really only expect to beat if we are at our best and they have an off day. Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire are the most obvious, sadly our biggest rivals, but there are others that we could beat if we play well.
As Craig points out below last night's piece, we cannot afford fifty dot balls in an innings that only lasts for 120. Nor can we commit batting suicide and toss away five wickets in four overs, turning an innings of promise into a shambles in the time it took most people to eat their tea.
The balance of the side will, I think, evolve, disturbed by the absence of key personnel. Dilshan will offer a spark with bat and ball, while Rimmington's return will allow Mark Footitt's a breather before the tournaments that suit him best. The issue with Mark at T20 is that people will have a go at him and, if he misses his length, anything off either edge is four. He can bowl and take wickets, but is always likely to go for ten an over, when he hasn't necessarily bowled a bad spell.
If we can get runs on the board, the wickets he takes will compensate for the edges, but we need fifty more than last night to compete. I also agree with Sam about Scott Elstone's place in the order - a naturally quick scorer, he should be at five, leaving Alex Hughes and others to play out and hopefully boost the score in the closing overs. With Dilshan's arrival, I would swap Tom Knight in for Wainwright too, a player more likely to clear the boundaries near the end, even if his bowling isn't perhaps yet back to what they hope for.
And finally, picking up the thread from Mark, here's my understanding of our overseas roles for the summer:
Martin Guptill - finished
Hashim Amla - can play one more championship and two more T20 games
Tillakaratne Dilshan - four T20s and two championship matches till mid-June
Hamish Rutherford - seven T20s, three championship and four Royal London Cup matches until end of July
Tillakaratne Dilshan - four Royal London Cup matches and five championship games
That's what was announced and I am sure there will be good entertainment from all of them!
More from me tomorrow.