Sunday, 25 June 2017

Glamorgan v Derbyshire preview

The news that both Hardus Viljoen and Will Davis are still not fit for Derbyshire's game at Cardiff is, understandably, deeply frustrating for the club and the supporters.

I am sure it is for the players too, of course, but the reality is that most Derbyshire followers are currently in the 'believe it when I see it' camp, with our South African fast bowler.

Questions are, I think understandably, being asked about his condition when he signed for the club and whether he passed a fitness test before signing on the dotted line. I would assume, because I don't think the people in charge of our cricket are idiots, that they got some medical assurance from South Africa as to his fitness for a rigorous English summer.

His signing was announced on December 7 and, again I assume, was completed some time before that, when Viljoen was taking a lot of wickets and bowling well in South African domestic cricket. That his season-ruining injury was declared as 'pre-existing' by the club when he was first ruled hors de combat is out there, so there was obviously something wrong in the bowler's knee at some point in the past from which he was deemed to be recovered.

If you didn't sign players because of known previous injuries no one would ever move in the game of cricket. Fast bowling is hard work and there is no one who has made first-class standard without undue strain on some part of the body. Bowling is not a natural movement and at times it will cause problems from a mechanical perspective. Look how many years of injuries Mark Footitt endured before the physio team at the club came up with a fitness regime that worked for him. You could replace his name with that of every other quick in the game's history.

It is worrying and frustrating though. We are now told he should be fit for the T20, but will he? Will running and diving around for twenty overs do a dodgy knee much good and will the bowler have anything resembling match fitness if he does so? My gut feeling is that there are a lot of 'no's' in the answers. Maybe, just maybe, we are looking at writing off the summer, or the greater part of it, in the hope he can get it sorted properly over the winter.

In the week I had an email suggesting that we had 'signed the wrong South African' and should have gone for Chris Morris or Morne Morkel. It was a comment that ignored the fact that neither may have been in the market for a Kolpak deal and also the fact that the former limped through the IPL and had previously had two months out of the game with a knee injury, while the latter was told by a specialist that he would never play again with his back problem. Yet both bowled splendidly against England at Taunton the other night.

It's tough, but we take it on the chin and move on.

This time Viljoen and Davis miss a trip to Cardiff and pink ball cricket (be still, my beating heart...)
The idea of day/night matches may well catch on and prove popular, but faffing around with ball colours does nothing for me whatsoever.

A fifteen-man squad goes to Wales, for what will be the last game for Jeevan Mendis. It is a squad rich in batting and weak in seam bowling of wicket-taking potential. Tony Palladino apart, it is hard to see where seam wickets might come from, unless Tom Taylor bowls as he did at Trent Bridge.

The Derbyshire squad:

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

No news on the Glamorgan squad yet, but I can't see a Derbyshire win here, unless we bat first, score big and Jeevan bowls them out in a goodbye gesture. The likelihood is that we might bowl if there's any green around anyway, but the batsmen need to fire well for us to win this one.

Unless the pink ball does some weird things, of course...


Anonymous said...

I think Tom Taylor has seemingly turned a corner and getting his mojo back. Wouldn't be shocked to see him to well. However, with a lack of a strike bowler at the other end perhaps he might struggle. Such a disappointment about Hardus and Davis.

Sam said...

Wickets at Cardiff often turn, and in the absence of a reliable third front line spinner, we may as well play Qadri and see what he can do. Palladino, Taylor, Hughes and Thakor still offer 4 options, with Reece a 5th if fit and selected. Matt Critchley being third in line is a bit of a worry, and I wonder whether his development is going the wrong way? It can't be going much worse than Callum Parkinson though, whose move to Leicestershire has yet to result in any appearances so far!

I hope the pink ball trial is a success. If it can be used under cloudy skies with the floodlights, at the point where the artificial light begins to take over, then I think all championship cricket, including day games, should use a pink ball in future. Bad light is a disgrace when grounds spend millions on floodlights, and any move to eradicate it should be welcomed. That said, I can't imagine any away side in his trial bothering to contest the toss unless the tracks are very flat

notoveryet said...

"A squad rich in batting" rnaks alongside "strong and stable government from Theresa May" as an obver0statement of our times. Apart from Godleman, no-one is in any kind of consistent form, and the evidence is that we only make competitive scores when he has a big innings. The improved performances against Leics and Notts have been shown by the performance against Northants to be blips in an otherwise downward spiral, and it's astonishing that regardless of the form of those in the team, or the runs scored by those outside it, the only change that has been made is the occasional inclusion of Slater, who isn't in great form himself.

Albeit with a little help from the loanee, we have bowled out sides twice in three matches, but the weakness of our batting means that we were unable to advantage of it in two of them. We're now competing in a league of three with Leics and Glamorgan for the wooden spoon, and this game is one that we should expect to do well in against a Glamorgan side that capitulated dismally to Durham in their last match.

Peakfan said...

Overstatement maybe, notoveryet, but it looks a lot stronger than the bowling...

Mark said...

Must win game this.