Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Viljoen returns to second team duty

Good  - no, make that great - to see Hardus Viljoen in a strong second team that is traveling to play Worcestershire tomorrow.

One would assume, if there is no reaction, that he will be in the frame for the game against Yorkshire on Sunday, which has come at the right time for Derbyshire. We will be missing Gary Wilson, who has been in such fine form this summer, but our hosts will be without Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett and David Willey.

I'd suggest that makes our task a little easier than it would otherwise have been, although Yorkshire will still field a strong and hard to beat eleven,  led by Gary Ballance, who has been in prime form  this year and has been a thorn in our side since leaving us.

I hope that Hardus comes through it and is able to play at the weekend, though we should not expect too much too soon from the giant South African. It has been four months since he last played and rhythm takes a while for any bowler.

More important is that he learns to trust his body again and I hope his knee is fully restored to health and he can take the next step to a regular place in the side.

There will be important appearances for other players  tomorrow.

Harvey Hosein will likely be in pole position to replace Gary Wilson and will let no one down. Tomorrow he will keep to both Matt Critchley and Hamidullah Qadri, so will get experience that will be of use for Sunday and Jeevan Mendis.

Luis Reece is also involved and it is a robust sign of our progress that he cannot get into the one day side at present. To be honest, any batsman would find it tough to get into a side that racked up successive 300s in a fifty-over game and some exciting young players must wait their turn.

Tom Milnes is also playing and I hope he gets his mojo working and a little confidence restored. Tom hasn't become a bad cricketer and there were plenty who said we should not discount him for the first choice side when this was being discussed over the winter. His first-class figures confirm him as a decent player, but he's just having one of those periods at present. We shouldn't forget that he is only 24 and in 'old season' terms has only a summer behind him.

23 first-class games don't make you established, nor give you the experience you need to handle different situations. He'll come again, but like most of you, I feel it will be easier for him away from the public eye at this stage.

If things get much worse on the seam bowling front, we'll be tossing the new ball to Alex Hughes and Luis Reece, as Abid Ali and Eknath Solkar, and recreating the Indian side of the 1970s with all these spinners we have...

That seconds twelve:

Luis Reece
Charlie Macdonell
Tom Wood
Harvey Hosein
Matt Critchley
Callum Brodrick
Greg Cork
Tom Taylor
Hamidullah Qadri
Hardus Viljoen
Archie Gleadall
Tom Milnes

More from me tomorrow, hopefully with good news from Kidderminster.


Knack said...

I think you are being far too easy on the club regards Tom Milnes. He shouldn't have played the last 2 games, boycotts mums pinny could have told everyone he had problems after the first championship game. This isn't club cricket, you don't go back to work and have another go next weekend, this is your life.
You can't let the players decide this stuff, they aren't objective.
How on earth can the lad function in that dressing room. Once the Captain doesn't trust you, you are finished.
I feel for him, badly managed. Sorry I don't have your eloquence.

notoveryet said...

I can actually understand why Derbyshire have persisted with Milnes to an extent. After a very poor start in 2015, when he looked a very average club cricketer, he made quick progress when he got into the side in the second half of last season, and ended the season with some very useful performances with bat and ball, and deserved his starting position, in the absence of Viljoen, ahead of everyone but Palladino and Davis. Poorly as he's bowled all season, he's usually shown the ability to bowl wicket-taking balls out of the blue, and has taken a few important wickets. But even that has now dried up, and continuing to pick him is bordering on the cruel.

I've seen most of his spells this season, and his problems can't simply be excused as one of those spells. I'm convinced that he's gone back to the headlong charge and high leap into his delivery stride that looked so awful when he first appeared, and which throws him so badly off balance as he delivers. If I'm right, playing in the seconds is going to be no good to him, when he actually needs some remedial work to get him back to the methods that had started to work quite well for him last year.

Azz said...

I'm not convinced Harvey Hosein will play against Yorkshire. My bet is on Smit.