Tomorrow sees Derbyshire take on our mighty neighbours from up the A52 Nottinghamshire. A match up that I believe is more than a little unfair. My beloved Southend United don’t often play Arsenal or Chelsea. When they do it creates all manner of interest and scramble for tickets. Then come the big day it usually ends in glorious failure. Normally by half time..
With their facilities, financial largesse and reputation for poaching the best talent that other counties have produced (Broad and Gurney who are likely to play tomorrow being two examples) Nottinghamshire really should not be languishing in Division 2 and that they are should serve as an embarrassment to all concerned.
In reality Derbyshire are in a league within a league along with Leicestershire, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire. Our season will be remembered by how we finish in this mini league.
I am writing this prior to team announcements and was about to bemoan our bowling line up when I read that the club have signed Conor McKerr on loan from Surrey and I for one wish him well. More on his situation later.
My team assuming no further injuries:
Daryn Smit WK
There is enough rain around to help our cause and I’m hopeful of securing a draw in the available time – we shall see.
I offer some thoughts and observations from afar as to our current problems and their solutions.
The captain has too much to do and this may lead to muddled thinking. Captain, opening bat, selector and coach roles all take their toll. In the first innings of the match v Worcestershire Ben Slater was out in the first over. The ball still being new and shiny called for an opener to replace him but Billy still came out at 5. Clearer thinking needed.
Much has been said on the wicket keeping front. All I would add is decide on the best keeper and play him.
With our resources and lack of pulling power we are simply not going to be able to entice established county professionals to us, they will always have better options. I think it was John Morris who said that we can never get a first teamer from Surrey, but we can get their 14th/15th man, and we just have in young McKerr. Exposure to first class cricket may be just what he needs. His and others routes in to the first team are always going to be difficult. Just as they appear to make their breakthrough then Surrey poach Footitt and on and on. No one can argue that signing Gary Wilson has been anything other than a roaring success.
Although laudable, the idea of playing home grown talent has just not worked out. For a number of years we have had a number of players who have not made themselves an automatic pick. Perhaps they will always be 5-10% short of the required standard and I don’t believe we can afford to carry passengers. Peakfan will argue about jam tomorrow but we haven’t exactly had bread today for a number of years. If these players are not progressing better to let them go and rely on young McKerr and his ilk.
We have 2 or 3 players that are attempting to do everything well and perhaps are not doing anything well enough. We should encourage these players to find their best suit and stick to it. Players such as Flintoff and Stokes are rare indeed and in the future are unlikely to emanate from Derbyshire, for the reasons mentioned above. As soon as they show any signs of talent, Surrey, Nottinghamshire et al will come a-knocking.
I am happy to stick for this. But on the same subject whilst I understand that spin bowling and leg spin bowling in particular take time to master, young Critchley is as far away from our 4 day squad as ever. He is not taking enough wickets in the 2nds for anything like inclusion. However he does bat well. Why not turn him into a batter who occasionally turns his arm over. Cricketing history is littered with such examples.
I headed this piece Support Support Support and that is what we should do. After all, the clue is in the name. There is a car park in Chelmsford that my now grown up children still call “the Derbyshire lost car park”. This is where, time after time, their Mum would come to pick me up, sat glumly on the step after another defeat at the hands of Essex.
Yet I still stick with it. Enjoy the highs (oh for 2012 and KK again) accept the lows. Be realistic, objective, drink from a hall full cup and the world seems a much brighter place.
My elderly Mother wants to watch Chelsea as she can celebrate a win before the game has already started. I couldn’t agree less. I love the unpredictability of sport. Every now and then David wins and wouldn’t it be great for that to happen in the next 4 days?
Rob In Essex