Sunday, 2 July 2017

Derbyshire v Durham preview

Derbyshire has named a fourteen-man squad for the championship match that marks the start of Chesterfield cricket festival, starting tomorrow.

There is again no Hardus Viljoen, nor Will Davis, which most people were expecting, but the game marks the eagerly-awaited county debut of Imran Tahir, who will doubtless form an intriguing spin pairing with Hamidullah Qadri. At opposite ends of the professional cricketer age spectrum, each left the country of their birth, though the latter, talented as he is, has a long way to go to be ranked alongside a modern great like the South African leg-spinner.

Their appearance should see a healthy crowd and they are likely to be rewarded with another debut, that of Gurjit Sandhu, the former Middlesex left-arm seamer.

Sandhu, as I reported last week, has been playing for the second team with some success and has also appeared this summer for Shropshire, where Karl Krikken is the coach and has presumably spoken with Kim Barnett with regard to his ability. A left-arm seam bowler, having been named in the squad I would expect him to play.

The Derbyshire squad:


I don't expect Matt Critchley to play, because he wouldn't get that many overs and you have the one of the world's best exponents of the art in the side. His involvement is good to see, however, especially ahead of the T20, where I expect him to play a regular role. With Wayne Madsen a useful spin option, as we saw at Cardiff, I don't see a scenario where Critch will play here.

I also expect Tom Milnes to miss out, with the final place between Tom Taylor and Sandhu. For me, Ben Slater should play, as otherwise we have a tail that starts at seven. As notoveryet pointed out the other day in the comments, there has been a worrying fragility in the middle order and only when you are very confident in the top six can you go with a tail that would otherwise be worryingly long.

Durham? Well, they are without their England men Mark Wood and Keaton Jennings, so it is probably a good time to play them. They do welcome back pace bowler Usman Arshad for the first time this season, and will arrive at Queen's Park with the following thirteen, captained by the evergreen Paul Collingwood:

Paul Collingwood (c), Cameron Steel, Michael Richardson, Jack Burnham, Graham Clark, Ryan Pringle, Paul Coughlin, Stuart Poynter (wk), Matthew Potts, Usman Arshad, Barry McCarthy, Chris Rushworth, George Harding.

Can we make it two in a row? The weather alone will be a question mark, with rain forecast on Tuesday, so my head tells me a draw is the most likely result here

We'll see, but there promises to be some cricket, which alone is an improvement on last year.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Good write up. I think Sandhu will play could be good for the spinners having some different rough especially with Reece likely to bowl a bit too

Order for me would be Slater opening and Reece 3 or 4 depending what Madsen wants to do. I prefer him at 3 but Wayne is our best bat so if he wants to bat 4 fair enough. I just don't like 3 left handers in a row myself

Peakfan said...

Think that a plus of our T20 last year Mark...alternate left / right to number 6. Kept bowlers on their toes!

Tim, Chesterfield said...

Seems to odd to even name Critchley in the squad. Fourteen seems OTT for a home game anyway, but maybe I'm just old fashioned. Milnes isn't trusted to bowl and also won't play.

I too see it as a straight pick between Sandhu & Taylor. Taylor's recent form doesn't scream 'pick me' so it may be a tentative nod to the left armer.

Mark said...

Thinking of skipping my afternoon job tomorrow so I can get a near full days cricket in. Queen's park on a nice day watching cricket cannot be beaten. Give it me over Jamaica, Barbados any day of the week. We'll win this game.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

I doubt they're concerned by what they see in our squad but there's definitely nothing to be worried about in their squad. Rushworth is a good bowler and has been for a long time and Paul Collingwood will do what he always does.

They are, as much as anyone can be for DCC, there for the taking.

Mark said...

Does anybody know if next Sunday's T20 game is pay on the day?. Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks guys.

Peakfan said...

Mark the Yorkshire game is on Saturday at 2.30pm. Last tweet from club said only 200 tix left. So probably not pay on gate...

Tim, Chesterfield said...

I suspect it'll sell out tomorrow. Get them bought if you haven't.

I notice Tom Taylor played for Ticknall today and didn't bowl. Presumably at DCCC's insistence.

notoveryet said...

Looking forward to Chesterfield, particularly as an antidote to the grim experience that was day-night cricket at the Swalec. I haven't noticed anyone commenting on the experience itself, as opposed to the cricket, but sitting in a sullen, half-lit twilight, surrounded by empty swathes of dark seating in a Stalinist concrete bowl would have been unbearable if the cricket hadn't been so gripping and rewarding. I understand that there's no current plan for more, and I'll be more than happy never to see another.

As to this match, Durham were well beaten by Glamorgan a month ago, but beat them equally convincingly in the last round but one, so it should be within our compass to win this. I'm puzzled again by the selection decisions however. I find it hard to understand the retention of Milnes, unless he's now regarded as a specialist batsman, and certainly wouldn't want to see him in the team today. The selection of Critchley is odd, as it's difficult to see why you'd include him as soon as Tahir arrives and Qadri emerges. I wonder if he's in the squad as a batsman rather than a bowler. He's had some good performances for the seconds in recent weeks, and showed last season that he's developing well in this aspect of his cricket. The absence of Thakor from the squad at all is worrying, and, as I've said before, Slater doesn't seem to be in great form either for the seconds or for his club. On balance I'd rather see Critchley come into the middle order in place of Hughes, rather than Slater. I haven't seen Sandhu, and it's an odd situation that the opposition will know a lot more about him than his own team-mates, given that he was with Durham last year. I certainly wouldn't leave out Taylor, who bowled well at Cardiff, and has been improving by the game. After such a struggle over the lasts two years, we should keep faith with him and hopefully rebuild his confidence. It's certainly an odd situation where we are thinking about compromising the strength of the bowling rather than doing something about the weakness of our middle order. It recalls the old England joke about "the batting's failed again - better drop a bowler" but it is actually what we are talking about.

I suppose for me it comes down to leaving out Milnes and one of Slater, Hughes or Sandhu, depending on whether we're prepared to risk Taylor at 7 and Palladino at 8.

The other thing is that our catching needs to be a lot better than it was against Glamorgan. Having been one of the improved areas this season, a lot of catches went down and could have cost us dear. Both Wilson and Smit dropped straightforward chances in the first innings off Selman and Donald that cost us 50 runs, Madsen dropped a more difficult one, and Hughes dropped at least 3 at short-leg in the second innings. I spent most of the last day wondering if any one of these was going to be the difference between losing and winning, and we can't expect to get away with it two matches in succession.

Anonymous said...

John from Derby here.
Well. What a strange days cricket that was. Had to work all day but listened on the radio. Thank god we played the 4th Spinner. Critchleys batting continues to impress this season. Let's hope this wicket is going to become a raging turner by day 3. Goddleman at 6? Bizarre but seamed to work giving the middle order a much needed boost of stability. Smit fails again with the bat. Don't get me wrong I'm a huge fan of his glove work but his batting simply appears not good enough. surely we need to give Harvey a chance after the T20 comp. Then after an all too familiar lower order collapse an amazing last wicket stand from the new guy Sandhu. Bizzare but a hugely interesting days cricket. Can't wait for tomorrow