Tomorrow morning, nice and early, I will be heading down to God's own county for a few days, during the course of which I will pull in the first two days against Northamptonshire.
In an ideal world, we will win the toss, bowl them out before tea and then build a steady innings and an impressive lead by the end of the second day. Of course, Hashim Amla, to complete my feast of cricket watching, will progress serenely to a big hundred with good support from his new team mates.
Time will tell if I am the new Mystic Meg, but the Derbyshire side looks stronger for the return of Messrs Palladino and Taylor, while any side in the world would be strengthened by Amla.
Graeme Welch has announced a thirteen-man squad that is still short of Wes Durston, but the final eleven seems a little clearer:
Presumably either Ben Cotton or Tom Taylor will drop out, while Matt Critchley would appear favourite to be the other, unless Welch decides a specialist spinner might be useful as the match progresses. Otherwise, twirling duties would be in the hands of Chesney and Scott Elstone.
I am delighted to see the latter keep his place and hope that he is able to build on his fine display at Cardiff. He has much to offer, as a naturally quick scorer, brilliant fielder and useful off-spinner. His all-round talents may prove especially useful in the T20 and the jostle for places in that competition is well and truly on.
As for Northamptonshire, their local newspaper tonight reports that Richard Levi is likely to miss out with ligament damage to his little finger, so Kyle Coetzer is set to replace him. Alex Wakeley is restored to full fitness and David Willey returned from England duty. Rory Kleinveldt is proving a good overseas signing and their side, though lacking some familiar names of recent years such as Sales, Hall and Middlebrook, still has the dependable Stephen Peters at its head.
Their likely side:
They bat long and did well in the last game against Lancashire, but Derbyshire have the all-round game to beat them, if they play to potential.
Session by session, if the weather holds and we do the same with catches, we can take the points from this one. Purposeful, dynamic cricket, of the type quickly becoming associated with this Derbyshire side, will be a handful for any side
What do you think?