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?