Monday, 1 May 2017

Derbyshire v Nottinghamshire preview

After an early start and a long, but untroubled drive, I returned to the bosom of my family at lunchtime today. I had a great 'road trip', even if the weather in Durham made it less  memorable than it could have been. Yesterday's batting display by Derbyshire made up for it and I consider myself privileged to have watched and enjoyed such a professional effort.

Here's a trivia question for you...when did Derbyshire name a fourteen-man squad that includes four leg-spinners?

The answer is...tomorrow. Logic suggests that we will use the same wicket for the local derby against Nottinghamshire as we did yesterday. There wasn't a lot of turn in it then for Jeevan Mendis, but a day in drying winds and hopefully sunshine today might change that for tomorrow's match.

I am pleased to see Matt Critchley in the squad, a thoroughly deserved promotion after good figures with bat and ball in the seconds. He joins Mendis and possibly Daryn Smit in the leggie contingent, as does Hamidullah Qadri.

For those who don't know him, Qadri is a hugely talented young man of Afghan origin, who has scored runs and taken wickets in large quantities through age group cricket and is currently on the Derbyshire Academy.

I have spoken to very good judges who expect him to push for the first team inside the next couple of seasons. He was recently on tour in Sri Lanka with England under-16s and has turned in some excellent displays for Alvaston and Boulton with bat and ball.

He will be in tomorrow's squad for experience, of course, unless we go with one of the most left field of left field selections. He takes his place in this squad:

Billy Godleman
Luis Reece
Ben Slater
Shiv Thakor
Wayne Madsen
Daryn Smit
Gary Wilson
Jeevan Mendis
Alex Hughes
Matt Critchley
Tom Milnes
Tom Taylor
Ben Cotton
Hamidullah Qadri

My guess would be that Luis Reece and Qadri miss out, together with one of Tom Milnes or Tom Taylor. Critchley is a good one day bowler and although he took a little stick last year at Welbeck, I think he might be a worthwhile option on a pitch that may offer a little turn. Neither Tom stood out against Northamptonshire, though Milnes looked better in his second spell from the Racecourse End and beat the bat on a couple of occasions.

Our opponents are choc-full of talent but have lost both their games so far.

Their squad:

 Brendan Taylor, James Pattinson, Chris Read, Stuart Broad, Riki Wessels, Alex Hales, Harry Gurney, Luke Fletcher, Samit Patel, Greg Smith, Jake Ball, Michael Lumb, Billy Root.

Root and Smith are likely to miss out, leaving Derbyshire facing 'only' nine internationals, including a pace attack of Broad, Pattinson and Ball. Which makes a slow, hopefully turning wicket an even greater priority, don't you think?

Logic suggests that the visiting Goliaths should slay the home Davids, yet they have lost both games so far, while we have three points. A loss tomorrow would effectively end their interest in the competition, so they will undoubtedly be up for the challenge.

Yet don't discount home advantage, nor that old juggernaut of momentum. They have the stronger attack, but there's not that much between the batting sides, in my opinion. There are big names in their line-up, capable of 400-plus scores as we saw last year, but we have seen them under perform in the past and they are beatable. We need eleven players at their best, but bats and a ball will do fine, instead of the jawbone of an ass...

If we lose, we will still be able to benchmark ourselves against a good side.

If we win, we can perhaps start dreaming of what might be.

Postscript - thanks to everyone for smashing the previous record for the busiest April since the blog began, with a staggering increase of 40 per cent

It shows the huge interest in Derbyshire cricket, while yesterday was the biggest single day in the blog's history.

On a day where records were broken left, right and centre, that's another one for you!


Knack said...

This is early for Derbyshire but do we have a crisis in the bowling ranks ? We have 3 fit seamers, 1 is trying to get to grips with a new action, 1 can't bowl a hoop etc and 1 looks OK.

Peakfan said...

Palladino, Davis and Viljoen are injured and we have who in the squad.

So yes, a problem Knack, though Dino and Viljoen should soon be back. Unsure about Davis' absence but could do with him back pronto...

jasper said...

"Can't bowl a hoop" �� a bit harsh on milnes knack! We do have thakor and hughes as back up who are particularly effective in one day cricket. Hopefully davis dino and viljoen will be available soon...

Peakfan said...

Yeah I thought Milnes one of our best bowlers last year but his line and length arent there yet this year. He does have a knack..pardon pun..of getting wickets though. Poor ball and even worse shot got one yesterday but it is in the scorebook under his name!

jasper said...

He does need to up his fielding a bit though if what i saw yesterday is the norm.. one particularly average attempt on the boundary which went underneath him for four should only have been a single. Small margins and all that.. as you suggest he may get a rest tomorrow.

Peakfan said...

Yeah that was poor but we all drop catches and misfield. As long as it isnt too often and too costly. He judged a catch well later...

Chris said...

I expect Notts to batter us today. Hope I'm wrong but seen this scenario so many times it's not funny anymore. Their fans will go sit in the falcons stand and erupt every time a wicket goes and trundle off home happy as usual.
Sound negative but that way won't be disappointed

notoveryet said...

I think crisis might ne the right word. I was told that Palladino was on the radio commentary yesterday and suggested that both he and Davis could be missing several games. With no timescale on Viljoen's fitness, things would be looking thin anyway, even without Milnes' current problems. There's clearly a technical issue that has been there all season, and you suspect that it's now affecting his confidence generally. It's clear though that if his captain won't trust him with more than 5 overs, there's no point in him being in the team. Although Taylor wasn't much better, I thought he looked rusty rather than out of sorts, and might improve. I'd tend to go with Reece rather than Critchley, who took stick in several of the RL games last year. Reece is a bit of a lottery as a bowler, but I've been surprised by his omission so far, as it seems to have been in 1 day cricket that he's had the most impact for Lancashire in recent seasons.

There's no questioning the quality of the batting yesterday and I'd rate Thakor's innings as one of the best 1 day innings I've seen from a Derbyshire batsman, while Godleman again defied the critics that say his style isn't suited to one day cricket. I expect that most supporters held their breath when the two wickets went down in quick succession near the end, as we've been in this position several times in the last two seasons and contrived to lose games, so it was pleasing to see the calmness that Wilson and Smit brought to finishing the job.

Having said that, Northants bowling problems at the moment put ours in the shade, as they've only taken two wickets in 80 overs so far. It will be a lot harder for our batting against such a strong bowling side as Notts, while their batting is capable of anything. I suspect they'll have to have a bad day for us to have much chance with such a weakened attack - although making sure there's a greasy patch in midwicket for Patel to repeat his slip from a few years ago will help.

Peakfan said...

Ideally notoveryet you would want Taylor and Milnes Ĺ•ecovering form in the 2s but injuries have hit hard.
If there is no easing of the injury situation we may need to look at the loan market but today I suspect spin might be the main thrust of the attack.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

We never seem to beat Notts when it matters. Can't see that changing today but hope to be proved wrong.

Steve H said...

As you've not started a half way house to chat about this one, I'm writing this as we sit 270-4 off 46.

Excellent from Godleman and Slater, the latter doing exceptionally well not to go apesh*t on the field after Billy ran him out, and a sound supporting role from Madsen, but it's Smit I want to linger on.

Great though his slip catching is, I'm minded to judge his batting and bowling to date as, sorry, but seemingly in that category looking just a shade short of what we'd hope.

No shame in that, many others countrywide are in that category too, but, as a jury of one, I'm still out!

I must add too that the Notts' out fielding has been lethargic at best.

We're on 293-4 now. One left

Mark said...

Wow, we have some runs in this one day side. Come on lads tight bowling and we've got this in the bag.

Mark said...

And obviously we couldn't keep the bowling tight. Shambolic at best our bowling, need to find answers asap.

Knack said...

I have to say I am not happy about the Milnes situation. It is obvious the lad has problems, he shouldn't have played today. Irrespective of the injury situation he should have been taken out. This sort of thing has the potential to ruin careers.

Peakfan said...

Bit harsh Mark. That is a pretty good batting line up and they took it to the wire.
Room for improvement? Yes. But not outclassed today...