Finding myself with a far better WiFi signal than last year, together with a little early morning time while my family are getting ready, I have an opportunity to preview tonight's big game at the 3aaa County Ground against Durham.
On paper and on form it is a game we should win. Yet we all know that such things often count for nothing in the game, especially if the favourites go into it with a blase attitude. This is a decent Derbyshire side, yet we can only aspire to such status if everyone is fit and available, then delivers the 100% commitment that is necessary.
Gary Wilson will be missing from the next three matches on international duty and the loss of the captain and 'finisher' is a big one for us. The former will be replaced by the appointment of Daryn Smit to the role, a man who captained the Dolphins for a number of years in South Africa. His experience doubtless trumped the claims of Alex Hughes, even if it means that his matches will be hectic. Smit has a shrewd cricket brain and others have alluded already to how Wilson and Billy Godleman seek his counsel in matches.
The 'finisher' role is one for which someone must stick up their hand. The likeliest scenario, from the announced squad, is that Matt Critchley returns and slots into that position, leaving Tom Wood at the top of the order where he is used to batting. There's no point in tinkering at this stage, as most people, I think, know our best eleven.
For me, in this game, it reads:
That would leave Callum Brodrick, Greg Cork and Tom Milnes on the sidelines, with Brodrick for Wood the most likely alternative, if one was required.
As for our visitors, we cannot underestimate them. Keaton Jennings returns from England duty with a point to prove, while Paul Collingwood is as dangerous as ever. Michael Richardson and Ryan Pringle are also good cricketers and Paul Coughlin has shown ability with bat and ball. With Kiwi Tom Latham at the top of the order, they have the firepower, even if results have largely eluded them.
It is a game we can win and need to win. By general consensus, we need two wins from the last three games and the knock-out stages lie tantalisingly within reach, but only if we deliver a performance, in front of what I hope is a good crowd.
We have a good, well-balanced side, with four local lads among the international stars.
If they all fire, we will win it. If they don't, we won't.
Simple as that really, and in a format where one stand out performance on either side can nick it, these are matches where you need your big names to stand up.
Good luck lads.