Apologies for the lack of a blog last night, but a domestic emergency meant that I wasn't home till after midnight, by which time it was way too late for coherent thought.
Were I a betting man, I would have put good money on Wayne Madsen scoring runs yesterday. He is a class act and just needed some time in the middle after missing several weeks with a broken finger. We missed him badly, just as the absence of an overseas batsman in form has hit us since the departure of Martin Guptill.
I've covered that before and look forward to seeing how Hamish Rutherford does in the coming weeks, as a man with a reputation to build. One thing he cannot do, any more than the captain, is address the lack of form in our batting order. Chesney is in decent nick, as is Billy, but after an excellent third-wicket stand yesterday, he and Wayne deserved a little better than the rest capitulating for not an awful lot.
It all makes for a frustrating time at present, with other batsmen out of nick, but you can only deal with the hand that you are dealt. It wasn't that long ago that we were acknowledging Ben Slater reaching a thousand first-team runs at over 40, yet right now he can't buy a run. Scott Elstone needs to convert attractive twenties into something worthwhile, at the same time that Shiv Thakor could do with a score under his belt.
They are a long way from bad players and only a fool would suggest otherwise, but they are out of touch just now, something that affects all players, no matter how good, at some stage. England's captain couldn't buy an international score for around a year, now he can't stop scoring. It doesn't help that we have a small squad and there is little point in wishing for more until the close season.
I don't see the loan market as an option, unless we made a sudden leap up the table, in which case we wouldn't need loan players anyway. I see little merit in someone else's player doing well for you, unless, like with Wayne White, it is a precursor to a permanent move. The bottom line is that we have a young squad that needs time to develop. The top averaging batsmen are the experienced ones and it is exactly the same with the bowlers. It is no surprise and one has to accept that inexperience, of which we have plenty, breeds inconsistency.
It doesn't help, of course, that we have two senior players in the second team, both struggling for form and fitness. David Wainwright has struggled to recapture the form of 2012, while Jon Clare has been seen only sporadically in the past four years because of injury.
There is no doubt that either in their best form would walk into and enhance the side, but Wainwright's absence has highlighted a huge void in our staff, while Clare is the lost man of Derbyshire cricket. Four years ago he looked an England all-rounder in the making, but he is 30 next summer and has had little or no senior cricket in the intervening period.
His contract is up this year, while that of Wainwright, like most others, is probably one whereby the final year is by mutual agreement between both parties. If we could get both to anything approximating their best they would be a huge asset to Graeme Welch, but the reality is that at the moment they're not and, while I hope I am wrong, they may not return to their best days.
Both need big finishes to their summer, that's for sure.