Sunday, 11 September 2016

Derbyshire v Leicestershire preview

There has been pleasing news for Derbyshire supporters in the past couple of days.

First, Tom Taylor and Ben Cotton signed contract extensions, keeping them at the club until the end of 2018. Now today, Taylor's Ticknall team mate Tom Wood has been selected in the Derbyshire squad to play Leicestershire at the 3aaa County Ground, starting tomorrow.

It is just reward for Wood. after a prolific summer that followed a prolific winter in Australia. His game is in a good place right now and I am delighted for a young man who could have a big future. The presence of Academy graduates Alex Hughes, Ben Slater and Wood is good to see in a county batting line up. The full squad contains eight from that Academy and is:

Billy Godleman
Ben Slater
Alex Hughes
Wayne Madsen
Neil Broom
Tom Wood
Matt Critchley
Harvey Hosein
Tom Milnes
Tony Palladino
Callum Parkinson
Will Davis
Ben Cotton

The visitors have also named a thirteen-man squad, though one at the other end of the age spectrum, with a strong over-thirty bias.

 Horton, Robson, Dexter, Cosgrove (capt), Pettini, Eckersley (w/k), Dearden, McKay, Chappell, Shreck, Klein, Jones, Sayer.

Checking through my mails in recent days, there has been some criticism in the comparison between Leicestershire filling the coaching role to be vacated by Andrew McDonald quickly, while we have taken our time.

The answer is simple and the criticism not valid to me.  They know their coach is leaving, while we wanted to give our mid-season replacement, John Sadler, a chance to make the job his own. He's not done a bad job, though hamstrung by some under-performing senior players and a few issues (the Ches n Wes stories) that are probably outwith his control.

Some younger players have taken the opportunity to make a case and, whatever happens at the summer's end, John can hold his head high. That an influx of reliable, more experienced talent is required is a given, and will doubtless be addressed in the coming weeks and months.

I am sure that plenty of work is going on behind the scenes to sort the many outstanding issues and there will be news soon enough.

In closing - thanks to my daughter for this!


notoveryet said...

I don't think there's much pleasure to be taken from anything at the moment, other than the glorious weather we're going to get for the last home match of the year. A win will come as a relief rather than a joy, and a Leicestershire side that has crumpled in their last two matches might give us a chance of this, particularly as we wouldn't expect both Godleman and Madsen to fail twice again.

The team selection again throws up a "you what" moment. I can see the logic in Woods being given an opportunity, but giving McDonnell one match (inclusive but worth another go), one as twelfth man, and then leaving him out (presumably he got the drinks order mixed up) really doesn't make much sense. I expect the final decision to come to a choice between Woods and Critchley, and it might as well be the former as Critchley's bowling was so little used in the last match. It was interesting to note that the team list included Hughes with no initial, presumably indicating that there's no need to distinguish between C and A if you only have one of them. I'm sure Derbyshire will get around to announcing his departure with the same alacrity and transparency there has been with Rutherford's departure.

I assume that Sadler's future has already been decided on the basis of Kim Barnett's review and last week's board meeting (another strange comms move to slip that out in the press last week rather than through the website) but I'm interested in your comment about him being "hampered by under-performing senior players". Apart from Broom and Rutherford, are you suggesting others?

Peakfan said...

Reading way too much into that notoveryet!
Specifically referred to those mentioned. If you come from overseas as overseas pro/Kolpak/UK passport holder, a batting average in excess of 40 and bowling one considerably under 30 is my benchmark.
They averaged mid 20s and that is a disappointment. Wes had a poor year too but the other seniors...Dino, Billy and Wayne...showed what has to be done.
Whoever comes in next year has to produce that benchmark to help us move forward.

notoveryet said...

OK, Broom and Rutherford were who I thought of in terms of under-performance, but I just wanted to be clear that you weren't implying others. I don't think of Durston as under-performing so much as being caught up with by age and fitness.

Nonetheless, you still seem to be championing Broom for next season. I think you've said several times this season that a player with his record is bound to come good eventually, but the same principle means that we should give Chesney Hughes a lucrative new contract on the basis that he's bound to regularly score big double hundreds because he did it three years ago against Yorkshire. Other than blind faith in statistics, there's nothing to suggest that it's going to be any different next year, and if we can't negotiate the second year of his contract away without excessive cost, it needs to be crystal clear to him that a year of second XI cricket awaits him if he doesn't start delivering in 2017. His presence this year has cost a lot of money and impeded the progress of Alex Hughes and Slater, while adding nothing to the team's performances, and we can't allow this to happen again.

As to reading too much into the omission of a letter in the team list, it's the second time in a couple of weeks that Chesney Hughes has been blanked in tweets. A couple of weeks ago, there was a photograph of players (including Chesney) training ahead of the Gloucs match, with all of their twitter addresses included - apart from Chesney's. I'm not sure what is more indefensible - the deliberate writing him out of history that I suspect, or the accidental exclusion of him at a sensitive time, which is the only other possible explanation. If the comms approach isn't devious, it's incompetent, and whichever it is, it adds to the frustration that we all feel this season. The article in the Derby Telegraph included a lot of information that hasn't been communicated through the club's official channels as far as I'm aware. You might be happy with the constant stream of joyful news from the club on social media, but I suspect you're on your own among supporters.

Peakfan said...

For one who is becoming pedantic over terminology, notoveryet, I'm not sure that there's a difference in 'under-performing'. That Wes has struggled because of age and fitness appears undeniable, but under-performing is exactly that, even if in the case of the Kiwis it has been a struggle to come to terms with the demands of the county game, compared to expectations back home.

Broom has been a failure thus far, but he is contracted for 2017. Will he do better? Will he return? I don't know, but as with any player, you don't know what is affecting his form and whether it is a temporary or lengthier 'blip'. Yes, he's been afforded opportunity that would not have been given to a younger, non-overseas player, but agents and players watch how teams treat overseas professionals very carefully. You want Kane Williamson in 2017 (a name plucked at random, for the record)- you treat Neil Broom fairly in 2016.

Chesney? The truth of that situation will out in due course, but suggesting that the media department are 're-writing history' is absurd. Mistakes happen and we all make them. I'm sure you do too.

Indeed, your final assertion is one. Am I happy with the news emanating from the club? No, not always, but I am long enough in the tooth to know that sometimes there are things that cannot be said. Contractual and medical issues are but two of them and the rights of the individuals involved for discretion and confidentiality far outweigh the rights of supporters to know what's going on.

I will wait for the news, along with everyone else.

Roy of the Falcons said...

Sorry for entering the conversation late again.
I would normally be a regular at the ground but I have not made it for various reasons. I must say I would be very frustrated to be watching the team underperform game after game and then feel the club are keeping me in the dark. I know that any good reporter should be getting stories so that could be a reason the DET are first with stories. I also accept that some issues should not be publically aired but the club does need to keep members and supporters informed.
Just changing direction slightly I feel the season can be summed up as one of some good personal performances but few match winning ones.