Saturday, 6 May 2017

Yorkshire v Derbyshire preview: Viljoen debuts in strong county 12

A debut for Hardus Viljoen against an excellent Yorkshire side is one reason to be cheerful, going into tomorrow's game at Headingley.

So too is the absence of five Yorkshire players, all of them in the England squad for the one-dayers against Ireland. That costs us the services of the excellent Gary Wilson, but Derbyshire will give the gloves to Daryn Smit tomorrow.

There will be those who expected to see Harvey Hosein take over behind the stumps, but Smit allows the side's balance to be tweaked, depending on the type of wicket that they encounter tomorrow.

The Derbyshire 12 is:

Billy Godleman
Luis Reece
Ben Slater
Shiv Thakor
Charlie Macdonell
Wayne Madsen
Daryn Smit
Jeevan Mendis
Alex Hughes
Matt Critchley
Hardus Viljoen
Ben Cotton

The man to miss out is likely to be one from Critchley, Reece and Macdonell, though all offer bowling options that may be useful, in a Derbyshire side that bats long and has plenty of them.

Seeing Viljoen on the team sheet is welcome, but we should not expect too much, too soon from a player who needs to gain confidence his body is up to the job and then recover rhythm after a lengthy lay-off. Expectations of his running through Yorkshire would be unrealistic, while criticism of his failure to do so would be unfair. The time to judge him is at season end and he will hopefully get fitter and, crucially, stay fit.

The home side may be missing five stars but will still field a strong side, skippered by Gary Ballance, a man in prime form. Their fourteen is:

Gary Ballance (Captain), Tim Bresnan, Karl Carver, Ben Coad, Matthew Fisher, Ryan Gibson, Peter Handscomb (Wicketkeeper), Jack Leaning, Alex Lees, Adam Lyth, Steven Patterson, Azeem Rafiq, Will Rhodes, Matthew Waite.

 There are some fine players in there, but there are in our side too and if you are going to play and beat Yorkshire, this is probably the time that offers the best opportunity. Ballance and Australian Peter Handscomb are key men, while youngster Ben Coad has been a revelation this summer and Azeem Rafiq so often turns into Saqlain Mushtaq against us.

A win at Headingley is always special and I think we can nick this one tomorrow, with a team that is playing good cricket and just needs to find an extra 5-10% to get across the line.

With the weather set fair, it should make for a good day's cricket.

More from me tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Think you've not put the emphasis that I expected on the non-selection of Harvey Hosein

Unless there are other reasons (normally noted in the squad announcement), this is a clear snub and presumably very disappointing for him

As a side note - those who follow Derbyshire's Snapchat would have seen a video of Smit practising his keeping earlier this week


Peakfan said...

You know as well as I, Luke that the selection committee in any level of any sport picks a side that they feel offers the best opportunity to win the game.
Harvey is a fine player and will get opportunity but they must feel that for THIS game Smit is a better bet.
It may turn out to be the right or wrong decision, but you cannot fault his credentials. And one assumes that they have looked at both and deemed Smit the better option for this game.

Anonymous said...

I might go tomorrow. What stand do Derbyshire fans tend to sit in?

Mark said...

Where's Shiv, Peakfan?.

Adam said...

We do not know the full reasons for Harvey's omission for this game, he could merely be ill or unavailable for personal reasons but failing that I find his omission disappointing. He made 87 for the seconds this week, a game in which he kept wicket and he has kept to most of the first team bowlers at some point in the seconds this season. I find it bizarre to then pass the gloves to Daryn who has not kept at all this season and will understandably be a little rusty. In 'The Derby Telegraph' just yesterday it stated that Harvey would step in and the club have always said that Harvey would get his chance whenever Gary is away with Ireland.

Aside from that, it should be a close game tomorrow with Yorkshire being a little depleted at present but as we all know no Yorkshire side ever throws the towel in.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

I'll make my opinion clear. HH should be playing tomorrow and I'm very disappointed that he won't be.

Peakfan said...

Shiv's in the team Mark! And sorry Mark N, no idea on the 'Derbyshire' stand...can anyone help?

Mark said...

Way out of our depth today against a weakened Yorkshire. These games are a bonus if we get anything from them as we'll probably only ever beat them one time out of every ten. The same goes for Notts, Warwks, Lancs etc. Not a good performance at all though today.