Thursday, 1 June 2017

Loan signing tells a story for Derbyshire

I am thrilled to announce that after four weeks in hospital and just over a week since eight-hour heart surgery after a heart attack, my wife, Sylvia, came home today.

There is a journey ahead to get back to full fitness, but the surgeons have done a wonderful job and have pronounced themselves 'delighted' with the outcome. We are equally thrilled and I can only say that your good wishes and prayers have helped considerably over the past few weeks.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Thanks also to all of you who have kept the blog going with guest pieces and with comments, all of which have been appreciated. Normal service should soon be resumed, now I have regained five or six hours of visiting and travel time that was a part of each day.

My thanks have been extended personally to the wonderful cardiac team at the Golden Jubilee Hotel in Clydebank, but I am happy to repeat them here.

On to cricket matters and the signing of Conor McKerr tells a disappointing story from a county perspective. With bowling places very much up for grabs, no one has yet put their hand up to say that they can be a regular member of this side, in the absence of Hardus Viljoen and  Will Davis.

Those two bowlers need to get fit and, in the case of our terrific young prospect Davis, he needs to get his body to a level of fitness where he can bowl quick on a regular basis. That can take to the mid-twenties for some, as their bodies fill out and the musculature for such an arduous task becomes defined. Time will tell if Davis becomes the real deal or perhaps another Alan Ward, whose physique never fully came to terms with the demands of full-time professional cricket.

As for the others, the four-day game has proved a challenge too far at this stage.  All are capable of bowling good balls, but there are simply not enough of them and a few too many poor ones to build up any pressure on the batsmen. As the club greats of the past showed, when conditions are against you, sometimes you can frustrate a batsman out, yet the current crop, albeit young, struggle to maintain that pressure and offer a 'four ball' almost every over.

In our current travails, I can only assume that Greg Cork is now seen as a batsman who bowls, rather than an all-rounder. Otherwise he had to be worth a go, but instead we have brought in McKerr, a strapping 6'6" fast bowler from Surrey. At 19 he is  hardly an experienced man, but the hope is that his raw pace might surprise opponents in the next month. He is well-rated and, having represented his native South Africa at under-19 level, has obvious talent.

Where he gets a game at The Oval is a moot point, as they are awash with fast and seam bowlers of talent. I don't expect the lad to run through teams, as this is first-class cricket, not a fairy tale, but if he offers something different it is worth the gamble.

He will get a stringent test of his talents at Trent Bridge this weekend, that's for sure...


Adam said...

I am very happy to hear that your wife is recovering at home now and it will be great to have your recommencing the blog again.

I agree that it is necessary to bring Conor in on loan as the bowling at present will struggle to bowl anyone out for a competitive total. Notts have one or two missing tomorrow themselves in the fast bowling department with Pattinson, Broad and Ball all missing. We should unless there appears to be a very unusual Trent Bridge wicket bat first. Our batting unit is performing well and runs on the board first up is our best way of creating some sort of pressure on them and in giving Jeevan a last day wicket to bowl on. Although we should not underestimate the younger Notts players such as Luke Wood and Ben Kitt (100 wickets in all second team cricket last year) who will be eager to make their mark.

It promises to be an interesting few days!

Anonymous said...

Worth mentioning to everyone on here that you can watch the full game vs Notts live on the Trent Bridde website.

notoveryet said...

Good news on your wife's recovery and return home. Must be a great relief.

I'm just about to set off for Trent Bridge, not necessarily with optimism, but at least with the feeling that if you have to play Notts, this is as good a time as any with most of their first choice attack missing. That's not to underestimate Fletcher or Mullaney in warm sultry conditions that will suit them to the ground if they bowl. Despite their dominance in the division, Notts have their frailties. It was their batting that got them relegated last year, and it's still a bit of a weakness for them as long as you can get rid of Wessels quickly, although Pujara is likely to be a strong presence now he's got going.

Unknown quantity that he is - I suspect that no-one from Derbyshire has seen McKerr bowl, as I don't think he played for Surrey seconds when Wilson was there - young fast bowlers can often have an immediate impact, as Josh Tongue has for Worcs and Taylor for us when he first appeared. Almost anything has to offer more hope than some of the terrible bowling we've seen at times this year. With conditions that will suit Palladino and Thakor better than anything they've seen at Derby, and Taylor showing signs of a return to form, perhaps this is a game we can take something from if more of the batsmen also step up to the mark.

Ash said...

As mentioned above watched most of todays play on my phone through the trentbridge website, even has the commentary linked to it, an excellent service, weve played well, disappointed to lose Shiv in the last over though