Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Derbyshire worth a flutter?

Whisper it quietly, but I reckon that if we get the rub of the green this summer, Derbyshire could well be in the promotion mix.

Last season, to put not too fine a point on it, we struggled. The batting was in and out, the bowling lacking a pace and spin option. Winter recruitment has addressed all of those issues and I now look at the squad and ponder on who to leave out.

I could easily change the team each time I undertake the exercise, but how's this for a notional first choice four-day side at the start of the season? Alongside it is the one that took the field for last year's season opener at Bristol.

Godleman       Hughes (C)
Slater              Slater
Thakor            Rutherford
Madsen           Madsen
Smit                Broom
Mendis           Durston
Wilson           Thakor
Reece             Poynton
Palladino        Fletcher
Viljoen           Cotton 
Davis             Carter

For me, that's a considerably stronger side and there's a lot of very good players outside of it. Opportunities for the likes of Hosein, Hughes, Wood, Mcdonnell, Cotton, Taylor and Critchley, in particular, will come. Yet the side above has a strong mixture of experienced professionals and talented youth.

There is length in the batting and tremendous options for Billy Godleman in the field. We have two genuine fast bowlers, two right arm seamers and a left arm option, two leg-spinners and a part-time off spinner. Hey, there's even a back-up wicket-keeper...

Yes, it would be good to see more of the youngsters in the side, but they need to earn a place on merit and performances in the seconds. I am sure they will know that opportunities are there if they justify a place, while those in the side will be equally aware that their place is dependent on sustained standards. With the players now given the lead on selection and tactics, there are no more excuses and no coach to blame if it goes wrong.

The balance of the side will change a little with the arrival of Imran Tahir, nowhere close to Jeevan Mendis as a batsman and fielder, but teams will know that they have been in a scrap against this Derbyshire side.

With that all-important luck in its many forms, we should challenge and at the very least be much-improved.

The return of Kim Barnett to the fold may turn out to be  a defining moment for our club and he can be proud of his winter's work.

It's up to the players now.

15 comments:

Mark N said...

Looking good. And don't forget Milnes who didn't let anyone down at the end of last season with bat or ball. Personally he would be ahead of Reece in pecking on paper for me however, I do love a left arm option.

Grant said...

Not convinced with Thakor at 3 and would have Hughes in for Reece.....

Peakfan said...

Milnes would be worthy of a go, Mark and I see him and TP 'job sharing' a role as similar players. Both can move it around and score useful lower order runs. He definitely has a role to play this summer.

I think Shiv will be given a go at three, Grant and Kim Barnett said so at one of the Member Forums. He averaged well last year down the order and we need to see how he goes higher up. Though Smit has more recently batted three for the Dolphins...

Hughes? Can't argue. I think he will play a lot of one-day cricket and squad rotation will be key as the summer progresses.

I am a big fan of the lad and would still see him as T20 skipper as things stand.

Anonymous said...

Not sure about no Harvey in that first team mate. terrible message to him and all the young players after his performances at the end of last season. How many 50s in a row was it. If those performances go forgotten it will have a serious negative affect in my opinion. Whilst winning is the major aim, surely we can have one eye on youth development. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

The bookies still have Derbyshire as faves for the wooden spoon, and with all the incomers the atmosphere hopefully wont go back to the dark days of local youngsters not having a chance and a resntful atmosphere abounding.

Peakfan said...

The performances won't be forgotten, Anon but I can't see him in the side at the start in place of the vice captain.
He will get plenty of cricket and the whole idea is that these players mentor the young ones to aid their development.
Harvey will get plenty of cricket but I am minded of the words of Harry Pilling, who said that every year he had to get a thousand and do well as he started at nought again.
Same for all of them. Previous successes count for nowt and it is all about this summer.

Peakfan said...

It wont if they dont let it! The guys who have come in have the required credentials and attitude. In the short term they will be the team. In the long term they will help to build the next one

Anonymous said...

well, I hope your right peak fan. Just hope we've not just extended a young lads contract to play 2s cricket for a couple of years. I'd still play Harv in front of Reece. You've got 5 seamers and a spinner in that team. Reece might be a good player but 4 seamers and a spinner is enough I think. Unless Reece is better than his stats suggest

Peakfan said...

If you can stick a name on Anon it would be appreciated and that way folk can follow who is making what point.
I think you do Kim Barnett and co a disservice in thinking Hatvey will be in the 2s.
He and Will Davis are the strongest of the current clutch of young playera and both need some first team cricket as fitness and form allow. If they dont we will lose them before they are 23 and yeara of development time will go to waste.
Gary Wilson is likely to miss perhaps a third of the season with Ireland call ups so Harvey will have opportunity. If he makes the most of it..keeps wicket well, scores runs, then he becomes impossible to drop and you find a way to play both..or Wilson loses out if he doesnt do both disciplines well.
Competition is no bad thing for any sportsman..there is a lot at Derbyshire this year.

Anonymous said...

I'm John from Derby (Not Harvey's Dad :))
Don't even know the lad apart from following is performances.
My only point was that if any player in that team got 6 fifties in a row at the end of the season I'm pretty sure they'd expect to be in the team for the first game the following season. I know Id be beating the coaches door down as would Harry Pilling I think.
Wilson could play as a batter and you'd still have 4 seamers 2 spinners if your counting Smit. if your counting mads. I know we struggled to take wickets but 7 bowling options should be enough to allow the young lad a game. Im talking red ball cricket here. I think
there's good cause to play better batters in the 1 day comps

David Woolley said...

The bookies owe me an absolute fortune !!! No, sorry, Derbyshire owe me a fortune.
Every year I invest £10. Three £2 singles, Threes £1 doubles and one £1 treble, in the hope of getting a win.
I really think that this year, Ladbrokes might be seeing me, come September.
As for the make up of the team for our first fixture, I think we have so much choice at the minute, it will be very interesting.
Can't wait.

Peakfan said...

Yeah I take your point John (thanks for name!)but like to think Harvey and anyone advising him would see the bigger picture
Form in September doesnt translate always to form in April and a lot has changed since then. There could still be a case for Harvey and Gary Wilson in the same team, but Billy and co will decide who is looking in best nick in the nets and pre-season games.
If Harvey is one of them, he will play, but they have to base it on current form and not that from six months ago.
Good comment though mate and keep making them when you see fit!

Sam said...

Certainly looks a stronger team than we had last year. Harvey has to play and would take Reece's place. Hosein to keep wicket with Wilson and Smit as specialist batsmen.

I think promotion is still some way off, not least because we'd have to finish above two of Notts, Sussex and Durham. I hope we play on good cricket wickets at home, as we can't afford to have draws against the other sides in the division at home

Peakfan said...

Nottinghamshire are the team to beat, Sam and really shouldn't be in division two with that squad. They are though and for good reason.

I think we can beat Sussex and Durham, remember the latter start with a deficit.

All down to a share of luck, a good start and a collective effort.

The talent is there.

Anonymous said...

John in Derby here again Peakfan. This team selection Blog as certainly created plenty of lively discussion. Thanks for the support Sam. I too thinks Reece needs to show some game form before he walks into the first team in front of Harvey. Great to have the problem of having too many good players to accommodate!! My only concern is where the pathway is for our young guns Wood, Macdonald and even Yozza in that starting line up. Looks hard to brake into the red ball team at least. Maybe there best chances will come with the white ball format especially 20/20 form allowing ?