Thursday, 4 June 2015

The merit of the thought process

I've grown to see the merits of Twitter from a promotional angle.

I wouldn't say that I was a regular tweeter, but largely try to do so when there's something worth saying, or at the very least acknowledging. Occasionally I reply to messages I have been sent too, but before I put something 'out there' I try to keep in mind the fact that once it has gone, it has gone.

A similar thought process would have been useful for Gloucestershire player Craig Miles yesterday. Miles, a useful, if not yet indispensable player, chose to take to Twitter with his thoughts after the undoubted disappointment of failing to force a win.

"Great effort from the lads today. Only one side competing for the win. #CricketJust Died In Derby" wrote the youngster on his Twitter account. It was a comment that displayed the naivety of youth and a lack of awareness of the game that is actually quite startling in one playing at a senior level.

Seriously, did he expect us to keep going for it, when we had slumped to 63-4? Would his side, had the roles been reversed? There were comments on here regarding our giving up on the chase too early, but I totally disagree.

I have always played cricket to win, but over the years, in competitive league cricket where a win was only achieved by the other side bowling you out, I was happy to battle for as long as it took, once it became clear that my side couldn't come out on top. Block out the ball, block out the comments of fielders, use anything you can to stay in there - but don't get out.

Then there's another comment from a Derbyshire 'supporter' that read:

@Derbyshire CCC claiming they went out to win today....lost 2 wickets and shut up shop against Gloucesters kids!

Ah yes, because our side was full of time-served professionals. Point of accuracy, we were 63-4 and beside our grizzled old professional captain (26) we had Shiv Thakor (21) at the crease with Harvey Hosein (18) and Matt Critchley (18) to follow. I'm all for discussion, debate and chat, but if you are going to make a point, be sure you can back it up with facts.

I will be honest. I don't have masses of faith in our batting at present, because we desperately lack experience. Dilshan needs some time in the middle, Durston has been injured and the skipper still is. Scott Elstone doesn't look in the greatest of touch and is vulnerable when he first goes in, but replacements are hard to find right now.

It is making me readjust horizons for the summer. There's no doubt that the return of such players would see improvement, but for now we must content ourselves with a battle for survival. Of course I would like to see us bat brilliantly, but we're some way off that at the moment on the learning curve of the first-class game.

For me, I am happy to take a second prize of battling for the draw and the points that go with it. We will not excite in doing so, but I will bet my bottom dollar that people would have been forming an orderly queue to moan yesterday had we made a gung-ho 130 all out and lost before tea. I'll take a man who makes me consider the merits of cross-stitch in his devotion to the cause, over one who gives it away after a couple of fancy dan swipes every time.

As for young master Miles, he would do well to recall the first match between the two sides, when Gloucestershire fought (unsuccessfully) for a draw and his 21 overs went for 111.

The game is a great leveller, but a touch of humility and a modicum of common sense never goes far amiss.


Tim, Chesterfield said...

I follow most Derbyshire related stuff on Twitter and in the main it's fair to say there's little childish stuff like the tweet you talk about above.

Peakfan said...

I can assure you I would be equally critical mate. No time for it and as a professional he should have known better. If you cant win a game you make damn sure not to lose it...

Anonymous said...

So what's your opinion on a fellow supporter getting blocked by the club's twitter page? A bit of criticism and they get blocked. Totally ridiculous.


Peakfan said...

Simple answer H. It is their site and they are entitled to do as they wish with it. What you label 'a bit of criticism' may have been more than that.
Constructive comment is appreciated by most organisations, but constant negativity and sniping is neither useful nor remotely worthwhile.
This season may not yet be panning out as we hoped, but there have been many worse times to be a Derbyshire fan...

Huw Lloyd said...

I spoke to Geraint Jones as he left the pitch at Tea and it was clear he was disappointd with how we were going about the "chase" but if the shoe were on the other foot, I am sure he would have ben shutting up shop too.

I was personally quite surprised we declared, I thought our best chance of points was to bat on and secure 1st innings batting points, declare and then get our over rate up bowling when it didn't matter.

We were never going to chase 300ish runs on that pitch in under a day, especially with the inexperienced batting side we are currently having to field. I think we played ourselves into a tough position, where the only two realistic results were a draw or a Gloucs win.

I guess the only concern would have been the umpires calling time on the play early as the game was drifting. I was happy to come away with a draw from the final day, as would most counties have been looking at the situation.

notoveryet said...

There's a bit of history to this, both in terms of needle between the teams and ill-judged comments on Twitter. In the promotion year, Gloucs beat us at Bristol and one of their players (possibly Howell) tweeted that Derbyshire weren't good enough to be as arrogant as they were. It wasn't just Miles' tweet, Geraint Jones also referred in his interviews to only one team trying to win and being surprised that Derbyshire baled out so quickly.

I'm not sure that Derbyshire ever baled out, rather than they never got fully strapped in and on the runway, but I also thought that Jones' captaincy was timid and unimaginative. I mentioned in an earlier comment that there was a point in mid-afternoon when a chase looked (albeit briefly) as if it might be on but Gloucs pulled it back. What actually happened was that after a slow patch whilst Thakor got his bearings, Derbyshire began to score quite quickly (Cricinfo shows 38 off 9 overs, and 17 off the last 3 of these) and got their overall rate back up to 3. Jones immediately pulled Howell out of the attack, put on Taylor bowling a defensive line, and dropped two men out on the leg side boundary for Norwell and Payne to bowl consistently short to despite neither batsman showing the remotest interest in hooking themselves into such an obvious trap. Norwell and Payne had both looked dangerous bowling a full length, so this looked more like a failure of Jones' nerve rather than any sort of aggressive tactic. I would guess that Norwell and Payne bowled around 20 short-pitched balls over the next half-dozen overs, wasting time and effort once Godleman and Thakor showed they weren't going to hook, and were simply going to duck their heads under balls that carried no real threat.

This was really the turning point, as the next 10 overs only produced 7 runs, but it was as much the product of Jones' negative tactics as it was of Derbyshire playing for the draw. Quite rightly, Derbyshire weren't going to take silly risks from a vulnerable position with an inexperienced middle order, and Jones wasn't brave enough to dangle a bait for them as a shrewder captain would. As a result, the game drifted for close to 20 overs, and it was this rather than Derbyshire's negativity that cost Gloucs the win.

As often with Twitter, it was the one with least to shout about who tweets the loudest. I was impressed by Norwell and Payne, who bowled with good pace and belligerence, but Miles was poor with a spindly wobbly sprint to the crease, and an action that almost tips him off his feet, and sprays the ball to all sides of the wicket. Perhaps if he'd bowled straighter, Gloucs might have done better.

Anonymous said...

So by your logic Craig Miles can do what he likes. It's his twitter page so he's entitled to say what he wants. I don't see the point of this post why complain about Miles but then say that if people criticise the club then they're entitled to block them. Same with you, you don't have to read his twitter page. Clearly you don't want to criticise which is no surprise as some people can't take it.


Peakfan said...

Seriously H, your logic is twisted...players - people - have an obligation to be responsible. If he were my employee, I would remind him of those obligations. The difference is that DCCC aren't saying anything controversial, but they choose to block you.
The tone of this and recent comments to the blog is confrontational and I don't blame them for blocking you, to be honest, if that's the case.
As it happens, I don't follow him, but it was brought to my attention and it all comes down to professionalism and a sense of responsibility, on and off the pitch. As I said last night, I'd be equally critical if a Derbyshire player did it.
As for your comment on my not criticising, I suggest you re-read some posts. If performances are poor, I say so. I would be interested to see what exactly you are complaining about, so why not send me an email and I'll see if I think you have valid points - and will tell you if I think you are wrong.

Peakfan said...

Good, pertinent comments, notoveryet and Huw. Thank you!