Scott Elstone and Matt Critchley are added to the eleven that I named last night for tomorrow's game against Lancashire at Old Trafford.
The ground often helps spinners, so there is a chance that Matt could play, but all will depend on the look of the wicket tomorrow. There will be considerable interest in the first appearance of Derbyshire's 'Otago Musketeers' in the middle order and irrespective of tomorrow's result against a traditionally strong one-day side, I expect to see improved performance and results for us in this year's competition. Whether that is enough to qualify from a perenially difficult group I don't know, but if we can keep a first-choice side fit, we could do well.
Last year we really had no contribution from the overseas role until Hamish Rutherford arrived, lost Alex Hughes and also Wayne Madsen. Any of those players could have seen games that ended up narrow defeats turned into wins. On such things fortunes change...
Our hosts have not yet got Martin Guptill, so Alviro Petersen and fellow Otago player Neil Wagner headline their side. Their squad:
Karl Brown, Jordan Clark, Steven Croft (Captain), Alex Davies
(Wicketkeeper), George Edwards, Gavin Griffiths, Kyle Jarvis, Arron
Lilley, Liam Livingstone, Stephen Parry, Alviro Petersen, Luke Procter,
Tom Smith, Neil Wagner
Let's face it, they won the competition last year, so they must have a certain aptitude for the format. If nothing else, it will give us a good benchmark for the format and our chances in it.
Remember one thing. Last season, in one-day cricket, we beat Lancashire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, three of the best sides in the country. If we can do it once, I'd argue that we can do it again, with a stronger side this year.
Consistency will decide it, but here's to a good start tomorrow.
Your thoughts, as always, are welcome!