Friday, 30 June 2017

Selection poser for Chesterfield

Chesterfield Cricket Festival...

I have had this pencilled into my diary since the fixtures came out and had the holidays booked accordingly. However, several medical appointments for my wife, who is recovering well but cannot yet drive again, mean that my services are needed here. She takes priority, of course and my Chesterfield festival visit must wait another year.

I will be there in spirit, be assured of that.

It should be a jolly old affair, with Derbyshire coming off the back of a stirring win in Wales and likely to feature Imran Tahir for the first time, one assumes alongside Hamidullah Qadri.

Time was, back in 1951, that Edwin Smith, at seventeen, was added to the Derbyshire side for the visit of Worcestershire to put a few 'bums on seats'. A local lad, from Grassmoor, he had played only one match for the senior side and there was little expectation of anything special . Like Qadri, he was fortunate enough to play on a turning track and, in the second innings of the visitors, he took eight wickets for just 21 runs.

Unlike, I hope, our new young star, he was promptly dropped for the next game as injured players returned to the side...

I don't see that happening here, as Hamidullah knows Chesterfield and has already said he has two five-wicket hauls on the ground in club cricket. We all know that cricket is a leveler and the lad, who seems very well adjusted, will be aware that the game is not always like that. He was, however, quick to acknowledge the support of Jeevan Mendis and I am sure that Imran Tahir will be equally helpful, as he will to Matt Critchley, who seems to have temporarily slipped back in the pecking order.

Hamidullah is a bowler in form and full of confidence and we don't have many of them. Tony Palladino and Tahir pick themselves but after that there is no automatic pick. Add Viljoen and Davis to the side, if they were fit and there is a fine attack, but one in which Palladino would  be seven in the order.

I firmly believe that the strongest Derbyshire batting side includes Ben Slater, another who knows this wicket well from many years at Chesterfield Cricket Club, but I am unsure where you fit him into the side. Godleman has had a good season, Reece's second innings in Wales was a match-winner, Madsen is indispensable, Wilson the vice-captain and second in the averages.

Perhaps Alex Hughes is most vulnerable, with Slater coming in and perhaps batting three, but that depends on Shiv Thakor's fitness, in which case both may struggle for a place. We have missed the balance that Shiv affords the team and would enable Tony Palladino to have a breather, but I think they will work on having him fit for the T20.

Not easy, this selection lark, is it?

One word before I close. I have been critical of Tom Milnes this summer and his tendency to bowl a boundary ball each over, along with the turning wicket, was a reason for his exclusion from the attack yesterday, along with Tom Taylor, who has a similar, if less severe problem.

Yet the value of Milnes first innings half century cannot be overstated in the analysis of the Derbyshire win. He is the best batsman of the young seam bowlers in the first team squad at the club and there is a decent all-round cricketer in there if someone can help him sort that issue.

Hopefully that is a work in progress.

15 comments:

Mark N said...

For me, even if both strike bowlers are fit I would only play 1 as can't run the risk of both breaking down
1 Godleman ©
2 Slater
3 Madsen
4 Reece
5 Thakor (Hughes)
6 Wilson
7 Smit (w/k)
8 Viljeon (Taylor)
9 Palladino
10 Qadri
11 Tahir

Assuming no Viljeon - Taylor can play. Same with Thakor in terms of Hughes backing him up. Slater should open for me.

I've said all along would prefer Wayne at 3. Reece is a difficult one as for the same reasons I don't like Thakor at 3 I don't like Reece opening. Both very useful bowlers and expect both when fit to bowl 15 or so overs. 4 for Reece might work. Splits the run of right handed middle order players. Qadri has to play as does Tahir. Palladino a must for his control and more recently his wicket taking. Only room for 1 other seamer if they are fit. If not continue as we are. Taylor edges Milnes despite Milnes fantastic 50. Taylor is much improved both bowling and batting.

jasper said...

Thakor should play if he is fit but i wonder if they are resting him and making sure he is fit for t20 where he will be a key player. I thought i heard it intimated on the radio that viljoen might not be fit for some time..

Mark N said...

Oh dear re: Viljeon. I didn't realise it was that bad disappointing. Yes it seems Shiv is carrying something and his death bowling important for t20so happy for him to rest if it means he can play the t20 matches.

Ash said...

Do we know how long Davis and HV will be out for? For all the excellent news the club puts out over twitter the lack of info on injured players is shocking

Peakfan said...

No we don't Ash. Partly this, as explained to me by James Pipe in the interview he did in my book, is because of patient/practitioner confidentiality. Partly so opponents dont know and cannot plan for who they face. Supporters want to know but these things take priority.
I am working on the basis that they won't play...until the club tell me that they will!

notoveryet said...

From Kim Barnett's comments on Radio 4 this morning, it sounds as if Qadri's playing on Monday. I'm a bit surprised as Chesterfield hasn't been much of a spinner's wicket recently, and the short boundaries will give him a different challenge from the wide open spaces of Cardiff (not to mention Durham batsmen who might actually look to attack him in contrast to Glamorgan's passive effort). It means that we will have the long tail envisaged in Peakfan's post. I don't get the impression that Viljoen or Davis will be risked even if they are fit, so it looks like Taylor at 8, Palladino at 9, Qadri at 10, and Tahir at 11. Qadri looked a well-organised batsman on his brief showing, but it would be asking a lot of him to go in higher than 9 at this stage.

That brings into focus the malfunctioning middle order. The averages tell their own story, with Hughes and Smit barely averaging 20, Wilson struggling over the last three matches, and Madsen well short of his best, but the full extent of the problem is shown by the partnerships we've had in the middle order. In the last two matches, wickets 3 to 6 have contributed 67, 37, 16, and 73, at an average of 12 per wicket, and across the season as a whole, it's been an average of 19 per wicket. Good result as it was, these collapses nearly cost us the game against Glamorgan, when we were 157-7 in the first innings and 117-7 in the second, and it was the number 8 in both innings that got us to a competitive score. We won't have a Milnes or a Mendis to do that with the longer tail, and that's going to become even more of a problem when Viljoen and Davis are fit.

I don't imagine that there will be much in the way of change from a winning side, but we also can't continue to ignore the weakness in the middle order if Hughes and Smit don't start to contribute as specialist batsmen, particularly if madsen and Wislon don't come out of their relative slumps. If any changes are made, I don't really see Slater as the solution, as his form has been pretty sketchy in both the first and second team.

Just a word on Taylor and Milnes. Taylor bowled well in the first innings at Cardiff, and has been improving by the game. I don't think the fact he wasn't used in the second innings was a sign of a lack of trust, just that Godleman wanted to stick with his spinners after the brief spells from Palladino and Reece. I did actually think that a couple of overs from Taylor would have been a good idea when Selman and Donald were beginning to get on top of Mendis, if only to se if he could find the length that de Lange caused so many problems with. Milnes is a different case - he's been bowling this badly all season, and I was frankly surprised that he got back into the team for this match. His half-century was praiseworthy, and conceivably as much of a game changer as Qadri's bowling, but unless he can sort his bowling out and get back to the kind of form he showed in a couple of matches last season, at his age (no longer really qualifying as a young player) there may not be too many more chances for him.

notoveryet said...

I think that might have been a Pipe thing, Peakfan, as other clubs and physios (including our own now) are more forthcoming. Viljoen was reported a couple of weeks ago as having a recurrence of the knee problem, and Davis a set back in his recovery from a side strain. There was no timescale given for either, but what I took to be an implication that neither would be risked before the T20's.

Peakfan said...

That's my assumption too, notoveryet. Just not convinced that the intensity of T20 will see them play too many of those either...

Anonymous said...

I know the adage of changing a winning side but, looking at our batting, it needs changing.

I'm not sure what Slater or Hosein have done this season - Smit isn't scoring enough runs to stay in the team and should make for HH. Wilson is in a little slump at the moment but he started off pretty well and I'd trust him to come good again. I've not sen enough of Smit to suggest he will, yet.

For me, I'd go with

Reece
Godleman
Slater
Madsen
Wilson
Hughes
Hosein
Taylor
Palladino
Qadri
Tahir

However, I also think some stability is needed; the order seems to juggle every week (every innings even) and players need to be backed to come good in a certain spot. The use of Thakor/Hughes at 3 seems to me to be nothing other than we don't overly have an outright no.3. I'm sure Wayne could fill the spot but he seems to prefer 4 and as he is so important to us I'd leave him where he's happiest.

Not that I know much! :-)

Chris

Tim, Chesterfield said...

re Qadri's challenge; Queen's Park is probably a longer straight hit than Cardiff to be fair.

Peakfan said...

Fair team Chris, but I would always, always pick my best keeper and hope he gets runs. The stumping of Selman and catch of Wagg in last game were crucial. And Harvey's not been making runs in the twos of late, so...

Mark N said...

Smits place not in question for me. Best keeper

Opening Bat said...

Smit and others not getting runs in firsts either, and if they were the dismissals I saw the guy was on the floor 2yds down for the stumping and the catch popped up and hung around to be caught, both would have been regulation for a local cricketer. I saw hosein bat at belper against Glamorgan, and he was a cut above anything else on show. Not sure what someone has to do to get dropped from 1st IX? I am not family or even know the hosein family, just a member who is annoyed at Derbyshire current policy.

Steve H said...

Reply to " Opening Bat" . Are you Ben Slater? 😉😉

Peakfan said...

Whether 'regulation' or not it was a tough pitch and Smit took them and allowed no byes.Harvey is a good player but until Smit's keeping drops in standard or Harvey scores more runs he won't get in the side