Saturday, 18 July 2015

Northamptonshire v Derbyshire preview

There is a recall of both Ben Cotton and Matt Critchley to the Derbyshire squad for today's four-day game against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.

The former has been out for several weeks with a side strain, while Critchley has remained in good form with bat and ball in the second team. The youngster has made an impressive start to his first-class career, averaging 66 with the bat in his handful of appearances, although his legspin is largely his route into the side.

That is many years from its peak and there should not be undue expectation put onto the shoulders of a young player of high talent at this stage.

The Derbyshire squad:

Hamish Rutherford
Billy Godleman
Chesney Hughes
Wayne Madsen
Wes Durston
Alex Hughes
Shiv Thakor
Harvey Hosein
Matthew Critchley
Tony Palladino
Tom Taylor
Ben Cotton
Mark Footitt

The home side has yet to be announced, but David Willey remains sidelined. They may as well get used to his absence, as his departure in the winter has been announced, even though he has a year to go on his contract. Division one cricket is his almost certain destination, but would-be suitors are likely to have to pay £50K compensation, which effectively means he will ship up at Warwickshire, Middlesex or Yorkshire. Durham could be an option, but the north-east county are reportedly struggling financially, which would appear to rule them out. A promoted Lancashire could also be an option, especially if the player cultivates a South African accent...sorry, couldn't stop myself.

Northamptonshire bat long and will be a stern test for our lads, yet we have the talent in the side to win the game. As most of you will remember, we had them there for the taking at Derby, only failing to win through a somewhat lamentable fielding display on the last day.

For what it is worth, I will take us to win this one, building on improved performances since the Surrey game that will henceforth be known as the Debacle of Derby...

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