Once again, it is telling that a poor display brings forth more comments and mails than any encouraging one ever can.
We have had two bad displays in the T20 now, sadly both against local rivals. We have to expect that, with a young side, but on each display it was the greater experience of the batting that let us down. If you lose three or four wickets in the Powerplay it is always tough to catch up later in the innings, as rebuilding is necessary. Batting second we have paced some good innings, but if I was skippering any side against us at present I would ask us to bat, stand back and await results.
We shouldn't ignore that it is such a tough group though. The irony of having our stronger suit in the one day game is that the section hosts big, successful clubs like Lancashire, Yorkshire, Warwickshire, Nottinghamshire and Durham, an exciting young side in Worcestershire, a proven one-day side in Northamptonshire and a very experienced one in Leicestershire.
Clint McKay at Leicestershire is exactly the sort of bowler we need for next year. An experienced man you can toss the ball to and know he will deliver, like Charl Langeveldt and Michael Holding once did for us. Where we find such a bowler I don't know, but Paul's comments, below last night's piece, are in tune with my thoughts.
For another year we need an overseas who wins matches, as only at Old Trafford so far has one of our Kiwis really delivered. They have done OK, but with respect, you don't need to go to New Zealand for 'OK'.
I still maintain that the season has seen progress in a young squad, but it will, perforce, be slow, as young players rarely burst like meteors. Or if they do, they get signed by Nottinghamshire...
I was amused by Doug's last post, which reminded me a little of Monty Python's Life of Brian and the 'What have the Romans done for us' scene.
'The only improvements I can see is more consistent scoring at the top of
the order. How much has the placid wickets got to do with that?
Improvement in Thakor's performance, Cotton showing a little bit of
improvement and early promise from Davis . Just about everything else
is going backwards.'
I don't think that's too bad! Nor have Palladino or Madsen gone backwards, Chesney has improved, Billy has been solid, Critchley and Alex Hughes have offered some fine one-day efforts. We'll agree to disagree, but that's not a bad season's work and we are still top of the RLODC section and two more wins, as Paul says, would see us qualify.
I agree with Paul that we need a good batsman (for T20) a spinner and an experienced seamer for next year. I'd add in a good wicket-keeper batsman, as I personally think asking Harvey Hosein to be first choice keeper at 19 is too big a question. Tom Poynton is a good cricketer, but we need more runs from the position.
I have ideas for some of them, but that's for another piece....
Yorkshire tomorrow will be tough. My short prediction is that we can give them a game if we win the toss and chase, but will otherwise be beaten unless someone produces something special.
Tim Bresnan, Ben Coad, Andrew Hodd (wicketkeeper), Jack
Leaning, Alex Lees (Captain), Adam Lyth, Steven Patterson, Liam
Plunkett, Azeem Rafiq, Adil Rashid, Will Rhodes, David Willey, Kane
No Ballance, Root and Bairstow, so things are looking up!
Ours? Much the same, I would reckon, unless Ben Cotton or Andy Carter are fit to play. IF Nottinghamshire do us a favour this afternoon and beat Worcestershire, it makes our next four games against Yorkshire, Lancashire, Worcestershire and Durham huge. Our destiny still lies in our own hands and fourth place in the group is still a possibility against teams around us in the table and jostling for position.
It will come down to net run rate in the end.
Right Wes...dig out that two-headed coin and hope the opposition call tails...