More than anything, as we approach the first home game of the summer, I hope for a sporting wicket where scores of 250-350 play off against each other, batsmen can score runs but bowlers can get something out of it with the requisite skills and effort.
It is all you want from a cricket wicket and in many ways the surfaces produced by Neil Godrich will define our season. Looking at the team critically, there are runs-a-plenty in the batting, but to get wickets on dead wickets needs a special bowler of which the county game has few.
Despite a poor showing at Bristol, I remain hopeful that the seam attack can get wickets on a surface offering help and expect to see Tony Palladino return to the Derbyshire side tomorrow against Glamorgan.Our seamers will need rotated this summer and Tony is probably glad to have missed Bristol, but he knows the Derby wicket well and I expect him to replace Ben Cotton tomorrow.
Matt Critchley's inclusion in the squad gives them an option if the wicket is dry, but that would be a feat in itself at this stage of the season. If he played it would likely be at the expense of Shiv Thakor, as otherwise the latter would be first change seamer, something he is perhaps not yet ready to do.
I'd be surprised though, so Palladino for Cotton is my likely change to Bristol, leaving us as:
Glamorgan are missing the injured Colin Ingram, so young batsman Aneurin Donald retains his place in a side well-beaten by Leicestershire in their first game. Jacques Rudolph remains a threat with the bat and Graham Wagg is a key member of the side.
J Rudolph (capt), J Kettleborough, W Bragg, C Cooke, A
Donald, D Lloyd, G Wagg, C Meschede, M Wallace, M Hogan, T van der
Gugten, A Salter, H Podmore
It is a game that we can win, but there is rain about on a couple of days and the question is whether there is enough time in the game for a positive result to be forced by either side.
Nonetheless, I will be down at the ground, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed tomorrow, eager to see the new look to the place and to see our favourites in action.
I look forward to seeing you there over coming days. Now to throw the last things in my travel bag and get on the road, after saying farewell to the family.
See you soon!