Friday, 21 April 2017

Kent v Derbyshire preview

Every season there are sides whose early performances suggest a season of toil and struggle. This season, Glamorgan, Leicestershire and Warwickshire are such teams and their early displays have suggested that it could be a long summer.

Then there are those who go off like a train and produce individual and team performances that suggest they could be in the mix. Last week's opposition, Northamptonshire, are such a side, as are today's, Kent.

With Sam Northeast in sparkling form and at the head of a solid batting line-up, we will have to play at our best to come out on top in this one. With the evergreen Darren Stevens in form with bat and ball, they have Wayne Parnell as overseas professional and he is a part of a good home attack, which includes Matt Coles, a cricketer I really like. He may have attracted more news than he should have for off-field exploits, but Coles bowls some nasty balls, runs in hard and hits it harder.

Derbyshire name the same eleven that played well against Northamptonshire, plus Ben Slater, Charlie Macdonell and Ben Cotton.

I couldn't second guess the final eleven, with both Ben and Charlie scoring centuries this week that may earn them a role. I think Ben Cotton will play, after a good effort in the seconds, as there must be an element of doubt over Shiv Thakor's ankle for a lot of bowling. The other big decision is on whether Alex Hughes plays as a specialist batsman and slip fielder over the other two. Given he didn't bowl at all in that last game, one can only assume he is in the side to lengthen the batting, although the success of Darren Stevens, a similar bowler, on these early summer tracks may offer him an opportunity.

It should be a good game and our senior players can at least make the decision on bowling here, with it being an away game. In the continued absence of Hardus Viljoen, I share concerns over the taking of wickets and await someone allaying those concerns.

Maybe this is the one?


Mark said...

Another defeat here I'm afraid, especially if we get a solid four days play. The team still looks weak to me especially as you say Peakfan the bowling. Who is going to take wickets on a regular basis?, that's my concern.

notoveryet said...

There's no doubting the strong start Kent have made but it's worth bearing in mind that they are also a side we've done well against in recent years. Even last year, we were very close to making them follow on and dominated the first 3 days against them at Derby before our awful collapse on the last morning gifted them the game. We were also well on top in the return game at Canterbury with an attack of Palladino, Cotton, Davis, and Thakor, with only Madsen and Chesney Hughes, and still might have won with one more penetrative bowler. They were at the top of the division at that stage too, so there's reasons to take heart. Having said that, their bowling has been strengthened well with James Harris a very useful short-term addition - perhaps we should have done something similar if we knew that Viljoen was likely to be missing.

I assume that there's an injury concern to have named 14 players, perhaps about Thakor, with Mcdonnell pencilled in at 3 if he's not fit. Mcdonnell looked a calm, well-organised batsman when he made his debut against Essex, and batted with maturity through the second innings collapse, so I wouldn't be worried about him coming in there if necessary. I'm surprised to see Milnes in the squad after his performance against Northants, which I think comes from a fundamental flaw in his method rather than a fluctuation in form, so would go with Cotton despite reservations about his ability to take wickets. With Slater in the squad and in form, he might well replace Hughes - though if Thakor is unfit, we're going to need a fifth bowler unless we're going to rely on Reece or Smit getting through decent spells.