Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Signposts for next summer at Belper? Wood and Smit make a case...

Last night, without the use of a crystal ball, I suggested that an 'impressive-looking' Derbyshire middle order might be worth keeping an eye on in the game at Belper, against Glamorgan's second team.

Indeed they were. Although Josh Clarke fell for just four, Ticknall's Tom Wood came in at four and played a lovely innings of 134 in just under four-and-a-half hours, with fourteen fours and four sixes. If Wood is not offered a deal for next summer, I will start to question the logic of our club's recruitment policy, plain and simple.

Here we have a lad from our own doorstep, who has scored heavily in local cricket for a number of summers, gone out to Australia and done the same in top grade cricket there, then come home and hit good runs against some quality attacks for the Unicorns. When given what appeared to be a belated opportunity in the second team, he responded with a double century, several other good scores and today's ton.

At 22, he is gold dust for a county not awash with exciting young batting talent and I hope that he gets a deal to show what he can do after a winter's work, when I would expect to see him push into the senior side. There is nothing to lose in playing the lad for the season's last two games, giving him a taster of the top level and seeing how easily he might make the transition. I would, were I picking the side.

Tom was joined in a stand of 158 by South African Daryn Smit, who batted to the end of the day in making an unbeaten 110 in four and a quarter hours of batting, nursing the side through to a healthy 364-6 at the close, after the quick dismissals of Greg Cork and Matt Critchley.

Ryan Bramwell earlier made a gritty 51, while Rob Hemmings shared an unbroken stand of 69 with Smit, who seems very much a player that we need for 2017.  Neat and reliable behind the stumps, capable of playing the innings that the game demands anywhere between five and seven in the order, able to bowl challenging leggies - what's not to like?

Last night I got a lovely email from someone at his club, saying that he was a 'superhuman run machine' and 'the ultimate professional' who thoroughly deserved a crack at the county game. It is hard to disagree, looking at his statistics. If a player with Smit's track record isn't the answer to our wicket-keeping question, I'm unsure what that question is. He's also got an ancestral visa, I understand, which would allow him to play here in the same way that Wayne Madsen first did.

For me, an experienced nucleus of Madsen, Godleman, Broom, Smit and a bowling overseas, augmented by the youngsters as their form and fitness permits, would give Derbyshire a better-looking side for next year, one with a strong, experienced underbelly. Another seamer of experience and we'd be alright, allowing for continued development of those young players and the building of a strong 'Derbyshire' spirit.

Let's see what the days ahead bring, but it would be criminal to lose two players of unquestionable talent to other counties through a failure to act quickly.

Anyone got a pen?


Adam said...

I have just got back from Belper, a very enjoyable day and as you rightly say there were some fine efforts from our batters today. Tom Wood got better and better as his innings went on. He played some lovely strokes once he was settled and today he played the most fluently I have seen him play for us this season and that includes his double ton for the seconds at Derby. He will surely be on a contract for next year.

Daryn Smit again once he settled down played some fantastic strokes, he was very determined to reach his hundred and he looks a confident player. I have not seen his keeping yet but hopefully tomorrow I will get the chance, it would be very interesting to see him bowl a couple of overs of his leg spin too. I would imagine that he would potentially play championship cricket as a batsman, the same for white ball cricket too but we would probably utilise his spin especially in T20 cricket where you can never have too many spinners! He could also come in as keeper whenever needed.

I hope the club's annual golf day went well today at Morley Hayes, especially our Strength and Conditioning Coach Jamie Tallent, who's putting skills I hope are superior to his parking skills as witnessed today at Belper! I hope he wasn't late but it provided good entertainment!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with your sentiments regarding the young players. Especially Wood who as been a revelation in the the second half of the season. He came back on the Derbyshire radar through his white ball performances with the Unicorns. The highlight being a T20 67 off 35 balls against a Notts first eleven bowling attack. However. Just had a quick add up on his red ball runs for Derbyshire this season. 10 innings producing 515 runs at an average of 74 including a double hundred. I saw him get 40 odd in the first team game against Sril Lanka A. Certainly didn't look out of his depth in that game. Those stats in addition to the Unicorns runs suggest he can play in all formats of the game. Let's hope we can nurture an obvious talent in the coming months. The Smit situation is an interesting one. Just had a quick look at his home stats. Serious figures on view. Might have stumbled on a little gem there I think. Hopefully without spending a fortune as well.
Generally I think the batting is in a decent place. Goddleman remains solid whilst Slater certainly upped his game this year. Madsen, a class act. Hughes improving. Thakor an obvious talent. Broom, not so convinced but some good young options in the background. The main issue is the bowling. We must break the bank with a wicket taking strike bowler and a quality spinner. If not we can expect another season without a win in red ball cricket. We can't expect kids to get 20 wickets in first class cricket. Shows how much we relied on Footy.

Peakfan said...

Two excellent and informative comments. Thank you gentlemen!

Peakfan said...

Two excellent and informative comments. Thank you gentlemen!

Anonymous said...

Just watched this Guy Smit get a double hundred at Belper. OMG. Mr Chairman, if your serious about a stumper batsman you wont go far wrong with this guy. Amazing batting is all I can say. stumping looked really tidy too. Someone says he's got over 100 first class wickets bowling leg spin back home in SA. Get him signed up before someone else does. Looks the real deal.

Adam said...

Likewise I was at Belper again today, Daryn upped his tempo a bit today in the pursuit of quick runs for the declaration. He put a huge six over the pavilion and then there was some excellent use of the reverse sweep! I agree his keeping looked tidy, it is a shame that we did not get chance to have a look at his leg spin today. He already appears to be well thought of by the other players and fits what we are looking for, an experienced, confident batsman who can also cover wicket keeping duties and potentially contribute with the ball.

Neil Brand who got a century and an unbeaten fifty for Glamorgan looked a very classy player and is only 20 years old. He has potentially got a serious future in the game, he is South African born and has plundered a lot of runs for Glamorgan seconds this year and hit a century for MCC against us in August. Everyone who witnessed him today was impressed and I have little doubt that he would have got another century if the game had more time in it.

Anonymous said...

cannot understand how any one can consider an old south African, deserving of a chance at the county game!

completely undermines the system. Harvey hosein will need support, but signing an aged south African who has given up on the game in his own country smacks of a return to the bad old days of northants and Derby and leics packing their sides with kolpaks and non qualified players. it also adds weight to those who want to see a reduction in the counties as this sort of signing is not beneficial to English cricket. hosein should have a wk mentor off the pitch like krik or someone. he has shown enough that it's clear more and regular game time will only benefit his bright prospects, if Derbyshire need a wise older head to help the lower order then don't sign another broom type, sign a mustard or o brien type who at least can pass on experience of the county game to hosein. if he were a younger south African with ambitions to play for England that would be slightly different, although still not great.

short term gain for dervyshire would still be very dissapointing from a wider cricketing perspective if it comes to pass.

as a 2nd point 2nd Xi cricket is by no means a guide only first Xi performance. there are countless players who score loads of runs and take loads of wickets in 2nd Xi yet fail in the 1st class game. technique and natural attributes are far more important than stacks of 2nd Xi runs.zobie sharing from some years back I remember scored loads but couldn't hack it.

Derbyshire should stick with youth and a decent domestic signing or 2 as we have excellent record of turning bit part players into decent county pros.

high peak

Peakfan said...

Always good to hear from you High Peak.

I agree with you to some extent.If I could see a side of Derbyshire born players win silverware in my lifetime it would be perfect.

There's long odds on it though! I'd settle for a trophy and am happy for that to come with a balanced side.

We can't afford successive summers of disappointment and I am realistic enough to accept that for some players who we want to sign, Derbyshire are not a 'draw'.

Is there much difference between 2nd team and first? Yes. Between South African franchise and County division two? The former is perhaps stronger...

We will sign who we can afford and who wants to come. From Mustard OBrien and Smit I would take the latter.

Others may feel differently...?

Anonymous said...

Cant see why Smit is not a good fit for Derbyshire. We need to become competitive and quickly. Harvey will benefit from dipping in and out of first team cricket but first we must strike a winning formula. Not bothered if he's a South African or Irish. If the guy is good enough that will do for me. Fed up of being the County whipping boys. A guy who can bat/keep or bat/bowl coming in at seven gives the batting order real depth and could add good balance. Critchley may well turn into a great spinner if his T20 performances are in indicator. However he as been largely inafective in the 4 day game. His time will come but its not now. Smit might only be a short term solution to a problem but we only need a short term cure in that department. Obrien is younger but that will push Harvey out for longer. For me its simple. Get Smit if he's up for it then sort out a Strike bowler and a spinner. Money will be available from the release of a number of big contract players Id hope. the imminent signings of youth will not be big money tie ups.