Thursday, 13 April 2017

Derbyshire v Northamptonshire preview

Regular readers will know that I warned of the possibility of Hardus Viljoen's absence from the start of the season a couple of weeks back.

He hasn't played since January back home, so it seemed a somewhat miraculous recovery in time for the season opener tomorrow.

Alas it is not to be and the club statement said that they are working to get him fit as soon as possible. Like you, I have no idea how long that will be, but as a major component of our four-day threat in attack, we need it to be sooner, rather than later. No doubt our opposition's batsmen are breathing a sigh of relief tonight, as no one likes playing genuinely quick bowling, but this is and should be more than a one-man team.

His absence gives opportunity to someone else and sometimes good fortune can be the catalyst for something special. Here's hoping...

A thirteen-man squad has been named for the game, which reads as follows:

Billy Godleman
Luis Reece
Ben Slater
Shiv Thakor
Wayne Madsen
Daryn Smit
Jeevan Mendis
Gary Wilson
Alex Hughes
Tom Milnes
Tony Palladino
Will Davis
Ben Cotton

Hard to call who drops out of that squad, but  on pre-season opportunity I would guess any two from Slater, Cotton and Hughes. It is tough on all and a sign of how we have improved over the winter. Reece, Smit, Wilson and Mendis make their county debuts and there should be an improvement in the batting as a result. All are players of talent and should make us a harder, more competitive side.

We will need to be against a visiting side that steamrollered Glamorgan in their first game. The likelihood is that we will end up batting first and we will see the effectiveness of the pre-season marquee work against a keen attack.

The visitors have a good, solid squad that cannot be underestimated, but there is depth and greater experience to the batting that should serve us well over the summer.

Their squad:

Buck, Cobb, Crook, Duckett, Holden, Keogh, Kleinveldt, Levi, Rossington, Sanderson, Wakely, White.

It will be a good test for our side against one that always flies under the radar.

My money is on a draw to start, but we need to be fast out of the blocks and ready to battle.

Good luck lads. Make my fiftieth summer as a Derbyshire supporter a special one....


Old Supporter said...

In your post of April 2nd, Peakfan, you rightly stated that Harvey Hosein would have to perform to justify selection. After his remarkable efforts at the end of last season he must have looked pretty ordinary in the nets not even to make the squad now, especially after not having been given the opportunity to play against Loughborough U. With competition for batting spots so fierce let's hope that rigorous performance criteria are applied to his rivals too.

Anonymous said...

Very well said Old Supporter - I hope the young man stays motivated during what must be the toughest and most demoralising part of his career thus far.


Rev Keith Bamford said...

Is it just me, or does news of our overseas star's absence due to injury give other people a sense of "Deja vu"? Do I need to worry?


Peakfan said...

I think those rigorous procedures will be applied, Old Supporter. And much as I like his cricket, it is hard to fit him in right now...

Peakfan said...

No, its worrying Keith. He is a big part of our game plan and we need him fit quickly

notoveryet said...

Bearing in mind that Viljoen reported himself as fit and raring to go after a "rigorous" session a couple of days ago, you have to hope that it's a minor set-back rather than news management of a more serious problem. Whichever it is, we're more or less back to the same bowling attack that failed to take 20 wickets in any match last season - I'm not discounting Mendis, but without seeing him, it's very optimistic to expect him to make the difference so early and with so little experience in English conditions.

The batting is a concern to me, though. Yes, there's experience there, but potentially two players who've never played a first-class innings in England, and two others who haven't played a championship innings since the beginning of last year. I'm surprised that Reece appears, on the basis of some indifferent early season form, to have got ahead of some of our home-grown batsmen who delivered last year but haven't been given much of a chance so far this year.

Anonymous said...

The news that viljoen's has agrivated an old knee injury has to be a concern lets hope this isn't going to be a repeat of when they signed travis friend as a kolpak about ten years ago

jasper said...

I'm feeling deflated already... hosein not even in the squad which if he is not injured is an awful decision, viljoen injured before he has even played and.... it's raining. ☹

David James said...

From David J

If Derbyshire can deal with Rory Kleinveldt, Ben Duckett and Richard
Levi then they must have a good chance.