Monday, 24 October 2016

Derbyshire sign Imran Tahir!

In a strong indicator of things to come this summer, as well as message to other teams in division two of the County Championship, Derbyshire today announced the signing of one of the best spin bowlers in the world game for 2017.

Imran Tahir's potent combination of leg and top spin, combined with a hard to pick googly, have made him a success in all forms of the game and in all countries of the world. That is emphasised by a career record of over 1400 wickets in the game's various forms. Not bad, huh?

He is no stranger to these shores, having had previous stints with five counties, as well as Staffordshire. The latter probably gave Derbyshire an 'in' to the player, as Kim Barnett has apparently known him for thirteen years. Now in his late thirties, Tahir's powers are far from diminished and he actually looks a better bowler than in his younger days, often the case with purveyors of the spin bowling art.

In the recent one-day series that South Africa played against Australia, Tahir was the one bowler on either side who was hard to hit. A lot of batsmen seem to find him hard to pick, even after all these years and there appeared to be an element of risk whenever they took him on.

As with all international players these days, Tahir's availability is restricted by the schedule but he is available from late-June onwards, subject to his commitments with his country. These tend to be in one-day cricket only now, so we should see plenty of him at Derby, as the season gets towards its business end.

I have no doubt that Neil Godrich will now have a major part to play in preparing wickets to suit our new overseas star. Dry and dusty, certainly as the game goes on, will be the order of the day. Tahir took wickets for Nottinghamshire last year on wickets that largely didn't suit him, but it would be a surprise if such a method was adopted by Derbyshire.

We now have one of the two best spin bowlers in the world game for a major part of the summer. Interestingly, Kim Barnett suggested that we will go with spin for the four-day game, perhaps indicating that another player might be recruited for the fifty-over competition. We'll have to wait and see who Tahir's four-day job-share partner is, but if this is the benchmark we should prepare to be impressed.

Importantly, we  have a 'go to' bowler if things are getting away from us. Billy Godleman will enjoy having one available who he can toss the ball to and broadly forget about for a session, if he chose to do so, as it is rare for Tahir to be hit, or fail to get wickets.

It will be a huge help for Matt Critchley. He had a session with Shane Warne a few weeks ago and now gets to work with one of the greats at close quarters. I am sure he will be thrilled at such an opportunity.

Visiting skippers will now have a decision to make at the time of the toss - do they risk the vagaries of opening morning wickets, or opt to bat last on one that will doubtless turn? IF our batsmen can bat as a unit and get a total on the board, there won't be many who fancy chasing 200-plus on the last day, against a bowler who can and will roll them over. If we can now get a top strike bowler, our opponents will have a bit of a dilemma.

It is a very important piece of the jigsaw and the club is to be applauded for persuading a big international name to throw in his lot in this part of the East Midlands.

Welcome to Derbyshire, Imran.

An exciting chapter of our cricketing lives will begin in 2017.

28 comments:

Mark N said...

Impressed. Yes I raised a concern when he was mentioned a while back that he washt one of the top 2 spinners in red ball cricket. However, he is still one of the top spinners around and if like Peakfan said we utilise the pitches better than Notts did we have a real match winner on our hands. He is probably at his best in t20 cricket so I hope he is one of the two overseas for that. I hope that doesn't step on John Wrights toes. I am sure he has been consulted and will be happy with this signing. KB did an interview a while back and he said let spinners and gun bats were on his agenda for t20 so perhaps we will get a Guptill or someone of that ilk. Exciting times. Well done the club.

Peakfan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim, Chesterfield said...

It said available for all formats didn't it?

Peakfan said...

My understanding is that Tahir will be available for the entire T20, subject to international commitments. As the world's top T20 bowler he will be a huge asset to John Wright

Peakfan said...

My understanding is that Tahir will be available for the entire T20, subject to international commitments. As the world's top T20 bowler he will be a huge asset to John Wright

Adam said...

Excellent news, not that surprising in some ways as one or two people had hinted that he would be joining us. Hopefully it all works out well and he could be around for a few years, which will give us time to try and develop our young spinning options. I have always wanted to see a quality spinner as our overseas player and now we finally get the chance!

Peakfan said...

Yeah he will be the first since Venkat who was a fine bowler.
I hope we can retain his services past this year, as he could have 3 or 4 good years ahead of him at least.

Steve burton said...

Given his record at at Notts last season lets hope he doesn't have the sort of season Dilshan had for us next season

Doug said...

Well it doesn't look like he'll be available for the 50 over game unless by a miracle we qualify for final and will probably miss half the 4 day games (depending what bizarre scheduling they come up with). So he is essentially a T20 signing, especially if we do our normal 'lets concentrate home grown talent' towards the end of the season.

And what does subject to international commitments mean? Haven't SA finalised their schedule yet?

Mark N said...

Sounds like we have another overseas spinner lined up then for the start of the season should Tahir be picked for SA. I wonder who that might be?

Peakfan said...

25 wickets in seven games in division one, Steve. Not exactly a failure on wickets prepared for their seamers. And why they didn't pick the best T20 bowler in the world for finals day surprised me then and continues to do so. Baffling decision

Peakfan said...

We don't know the fixtures, Doug so can't comment on that. He is likely to miss the 50 over game, but there will be a good option for that, I'm sure.

I reckon he will play plenty of 4-day cricket and there's nowt wrong with having the world's best T20 bowler in your side if he played nothing else.

International fixtures can always be thrown in, but he may or may not be involved, depending on the level of opposition. They wouldn't waste him on a poor side.

Knack said...

Good job we have one of the most respected groundsmen in the country. Getting the balance between helpful and unsportsmanlike isn't as easy as some might think.

Doug said...


Totally forgot about the SA test series in England in July/August

Lets hope he is still out of favour and SA don't get any late pullouts or injuries

Can see this turning into a fiasco as the overseas situation often does

Huw Lloyd said...

It will also depend on the champions trophy, he doesn't always play 50 over cricket for them and early season in England may not mean an automatic selection for him. If he isn't in that squad he will be joining up with us sooner.

Peakfan said...

Good point Huw. There's much in the air at present and none of us yet know how long we have Imran for.
But we have him for a fair part of the season. Only good news!

Peakfan said...

Good point Huw. There's much in the air at present and none of us yet know how long we have Imran for.
But we have him for a fair part of the season. Only good news!

Anonymous said...

A really great signing for us. One of the best limited bowler's out there.

Huw, he'll be in the squad for the champions trophy and he'll definitely play because of his variety and that deadly googly he's got.

Harry

Peakfan said...

High Peak - drop me an email please and I will gladly explain a few things to you...

GH said...

He may or may not be around for a large number of games, but in my opinion probably the most talented option out there for an overseas spinner.

I think the management team are really trying to bring in a higher quality of player and coaching for next season. So well done to them for trying to meet their high targets.

GH

Anonymous said...

Anyone wish to guess the spinner for the pre-Tahir part of the Season?

Still need that strike bowler and that no. 3 but so far so good this off-season.

Well done to the DCCC management so far!!

Gareth

Mark N said...

Yasir Shah perhaps?

Peakfan said...

Not sure about Shah, Mark. He undid England with novelty value but they soon seemed to work him out.

I think his limited English (his post match interviews were interpreted by Mushtaq) would be an issue too.

I would prefer one who offered a little more with the bat, especially for the 50 over games, when that can make all the difference.

Mark N said...

Ok Shakib then haha. We can't but hope. His schedule wouldn't work I don't think. Herath? Judging by Grants comments on twitter he said two world class players with records to match. And Kim has hinted we have the other role tied up. Got to be somebody impressive.

Mark N said...

Also I am pretty certain Barnett has been on record as saying he wants a seaming all-rounder for the 50 over stuff as he thinks with it being early that will be the way to go with the pitches. We shall see. So I am expecting an overseas for early championship cover. And one for the 50 over stuff. Just reading into what he said. Then again plans might change. Exciting times though.

Sam said...

Good to see the interest this signing has generated. I think we've all learned to wait and see whether we get him at his best, or perhaps not, but there aren't many better spinners out there on paper. He is prone to bowling no balls based on his spell at Notts last year, so perhaps the groundsman should deprive the tracks of water but compensate by making the creases a little thicker perhaps?

Mark said...

It's a gamble this signing just like Amla was, let's hope for a positive result this time.

Peakfan said...

Dont see the gamble Mark. Amla shouldnt have been but short term signings are an issue when wickets are different.
Tahir knows our wickets and is here for longer.
To some extent any signing is a gamble because few guarantee runs and/or wickets