Thursday, 20 August 2015

Derbyshire v Kent preview

Whoah there, folks...

No sooner does news break of Mark Footitt's turning down of a contract, than people are suggesting more departures and issues where they really don't exist.

Please try to keep comments to things we know - i.e. Mark - than things based on nothing more than supposition. Just because Tony Palladino hasn't played much one-day cricket , it doesn't mean he's leaving, nor is Wayne Madsen because he wasn't one-day captain.

Let's keep comments to facts, thank you.

Full marks to Graeme Welch today, in omitting Tillakaratne Dilshan from the side to play Kent this weekend. I wrote the other night that it would be a brave decision to omit the overseas player, but I applaud it. His form has been wretched and any player should be given a break when form is proving so elusive.

I feel sorry for the coach. He has come in to build a dynasty at the club, progress the development of young players and get them into the first team. He has done that, granted with mixed success, which is always going to be the case with young cricketers. He has a strong bunch of young players in the second team and another impressive batch in the under-17s. Could he really do more in a two-year period, especially with some of the hurdles he has had to face, on and off the field?

He could, with a full complement of contributing senior players and in that he has been somewhat hamstrung by contractual decisions made before he came to the club. This winter will see a revamp of the playing staff and the Derbyshire coach is sensible enough to realise that it is an important one, without any of us spelling it out. He has made one very positive move in engaging Hamish Rutherford, who will make a big difference across all formats next summer and I expect other exciting announcements in the coming months.

Whether it is with or without Mark Footitt, 2016 will be a big season. Further progress will be expected from young players and an influx of those with greater experience, battle-hardened players if you will, are needed. Godleman, Madsen, Palladino and Durston make up a steady four, but they will need support. We need to show further signs of the improvement that has been hinted at this year with wins over good sides, while eliminating some of the errors that have strewn other performances.

I still think Welch will get there, but supporters need to show patience and should trust in those in charge at the club.

For the Kent game, he has chosen a squad of twelve that is as strong as we could name in the circumstances, one with a good depth in batting and a strong content of young players.

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

Sitting below us in the table, Kent have had a tough year and name the following squad, with South African batsmen Sean Dickson possibly making a debut:

 Sam Northeast (c), Daniel Bell-Drummond, Rob Key, Joe Denly, Ben Harmison, Sean Dickson,  Fabian Cowdrey, Sam Billings (wk), Calum Haggett, James Tredwell, Matt Hunn, Ivan Thomas.

With Matt Coles and Darren Stevens rested, this is a match we can win.

If the weather stays out of it, I think we will do.


notoveryet said...

By any measure, this isn’t just a match we can win, it’s one we should win. Of course we’ve said that before, but Kent are resting their two most effective bowlers for the one day cup next week, also have no overseas player, and have at least as many young players in their side as we do.

I’m relieved to see Footitt in the side, although perhaps it was selected before anyone at Derbyshire knew that he’d rejected the contract offer, given that it took almost 24 hours from the story appearing on Wednesday night before there was anything on the club website. Something similar happened when Wayne White was released, and alongside the absence of explanations for decisions, it leaves a vacuum that people who care about the club will fill. It’s your blog of course, and you can set whatever ground rules you want for it, but when facts are kept in such short supply by the club, there would be very few comments to make if they all stuck to the facts.

Contrast, for example, the very full explanation that Andrew Gale gave when stepping down from Yorkshire’s one day captaincy at almost the same time that Wayne Madsen stepped down / was sacked (delete as appropriate as it’s never been clarified which it was) as ours. There hasn’t been a word from him about it, and all we’re left with is some very general comments from Graeme Welch about letting him concentrate on his batting. I can well understand that Welch felt that a new leader was needed for an under-performing one day side, or that he felt that Madsen’s batting was being affected by the captaincy, or that Madsen himself had had enough after 5 very challenging years. But the failure to explain the decision properly inevitably leaves people to start to fill the gaps, and especially when Derbyshire’s other indispensible player appears to be suggesting a wish to leave.

Add to the mix, the desperately unsatisfactory issue of Wayne White’s departure. It was obvious to most of us that something had happened after the Surrey game that had resulted in him becoming a non-person. Welch suggested he’d been left out because although he had put in match winning bowling performances, he hadn’t scored enough runs, and also that he was older than Shiv Thakor. The club website than claimed he was injured, which he denied at the time and again very clearly in his interview with Radio Leicester this week, when he claimed that he was dropped without warning after asking about a new contract. I appreciate that this may be a very one-sided version of events, and that employment law restricts what can be said about it, but I also know that the club, intentionally or not, misled supporters about the true situation.

It is this lack of openness (or lack of understanding of the need for openness) that feeds speculation and conjecture. I can understand why Mark Footitt would want to play first division cricket (whether or not he earns more or improves his chances of playing for England) to demonstrate fully his capabilities and to improve his chances of being part of a winning team, now that it’s clear that Derbyshire isn’t likely to permit either within his playing career. I can also understand that other members of the squad with marketable performances might be feeling likewise. I can understand that an older player who has heard his coach say that he’ll give precedence to younger players, and has been marginalised from one day cricket, might look for another division 2 option that gives a little more security. If people are speculating (or as I read the comments, questioning) along these lines, it’s not because they want to make mischief, but because they are anxious about the future of Derbyshire, and the club’s regular poor communication is feeding this.

John said...

Excellent, well thought out post

I don't care what anybody says if we had won some of the games that we have just thrown away we would be in a good position in the CC and a quarter finalist in the RL Cup. Mark Footitt might well be thinking we are really moving forward now, DCCC have been really good to me and I think these elements would have swayed him to sign.

I am sure PF when the sun finally sets on this season we will review the games and 'what could have been'

BTW been today and another excellent innings from Godleman, however 205 - 4 to 253 all out another strong platform wasted.