Friday, 8 September 2017

Barnett staying is key for Derbyshire

The end of the county four-day season ended as the dampest of damp squibs, with rain forcing the abandonment without a ball being bowled on three of the four days against Glamorgan.

It affords me an opportunity to comment on the news, earlier this week, that Kim Barnett is staying on in a role that holds the new title of Cricket Advisor.

In reality, it would appear to be no different to the one that he held this year and enables the county legend to continue to support Billy Godleman and the cricket management team, made up of senior players within the squad.

It also allows the club to build on the successes of the year and take things on a stage further next season. I have already written that Barnett's signings - those of Jeevan Mendis, Imran Tahir, Luis Reece, Gary Wilson and Daryn Smit, have all come in and done good jobs.

Mendis took more spin wickets than any other bowler bar Simon Harmer at Essex in the first half of the summer, while Tahir was a stand out in the T20. Reece has been a resounding success in all formats, Wilson has played some punishing innings and Smit has taken the wicket-keeping role to a level not seen for several seasons.

Yet the job is not done and continuity is key for us to progress. The appointment of Mal Loye to the Academy is already bearing fruit, but these talented young players need time to develop into genuine county players. The experience of most of those named above will ensure that we buy them that time, hopefully allowing them to come into a strong and settled side .

More is needed and I have no doubt that Barnett, with a contacts book second to none, will be on the case. The batting still shows worrying signs of fragility and the key role of number three in the order has not yet been filled satisfactorily. There have been negligible signs of progress in the seam bowling ranks and a worry must be whether many, or any, of a large crop of talented young bowlers have what it takes for a long county career.

We are well catered for in the spin bowling ranks, thankfully and have options behind the stumps, even if one of them has to make the role his own next season.

That, together with the acquisition of a seam bowler who offers runs at number eight, are key to improving this side. Hamidullah Qadri will, in time, become a fine bowler and likely all-rounder, but needs time to do this. In between times, a first choice balanced attack at present offers little in the way of runs, something that needs to be addressed, unless one of our keepers turns into Adam Gilchrist over the winter...

There are frailties in the side, but Barnett is best-placed to address these and ensure that next season we are able to build on this season's successes.

As well as minimising its disappointments.

Like all of you, I'm sure, I wish him well.


Anonymous said...

What about an opener? Reece going to 3 like in t20. If we got a RH Opening bat I think that would make sense. Agree a seaming all-rounder would be useful perhaps overseas for the first half of the season. Although like you say Mendis did well so perhaps overseas spinner not a bad idea if we can get a domestic or kolpak #8
For me in CC I would be hoping for something like this
1 Godleman
2 New opener
3 Reece
4 Madsen
5 Thakor
6 Hughes
7 One of the 3 keepers
8 Critchley
9 Overseas seamer who can bat
10 Viljeon
11 Davis

5,6,7,8,9 would then look a lot more solid. Also, I don't want two keepers in the team next summer, would prefer we pick just one. Not sure Wilson or Smit or Harvey have proved they are good enough to warrant a place as a specialist batsmen

I think Hughes has done well recently digging in. Would like to see him given another chance in the top 6

Anonymous said...

Why do we lose so many days to a wet outfield? Notts played cricket on all four days this week while we managed little more than half a day's play. There was far more cricket played at all the other first class matches this week than we managed. We must lose more days cricket than any other first class county. Isn't it time something was done about the drainage at the County ground?

justmissin'leg said...

Great news that KJB is staying on at Derbyshire, for all the reasons you mention, Peakfan.

This may even slightly improve the chance of JGW returning as T20 boss. A bit of continuity would be nice.

I had feared that we'd lose them both, in typical DCCC fashion, and thereby undo much of the rebuilding work from last winter.

Interesting to read, from your earlier piece, about the finances generated from the concerts held at Derby. Good stuff. Let's get some more out of season gigs.

Off topic, am pleased to read that your wife's recovery continues, Peakfan.

I have a couple of days of cricket viewing still left to come, hopefully. The day/night ODI at Trent Bridge on 21st, and the last day versus Kent at Chesterfield, Friday 22nd. I don't easily recall having watched cricket so late in a season. That's if there's any play, of course.

Anonymous said...

Not yet over still have an home fixture v Kent at Chesterfield.

Sam said...

Absolutely the right thing for KB to stay on, hopefully he'll be able to bring John Wright back too.

As regards to the 4 day side, I simply don't get why Godleman isn't opening. He and Slater have always usually done well together whenever they've opened, and Reece would have a little more freedom down the order if the top 3 can set a base. I would have Madsen at 3 to break up the run of left handers, Reece at 4, Critchley at 5 and Hughes at 6. If Critchley could get into the side for his bowling, we could afford another batsman and then Smit, by far the best gloveman we've got, to bat at 8, with 3 seamers below. The identity of the 3 seamers is a moot point, but we need an overseas seamer - someone like James Pattinson would be ideal, and if we can afford Tahir shouldn't be beyond our budget. Teams won't enjoy playing us if we had Davis, Viljoen and another fast bowler as the wicket taking threat, Reece and Hughes offering control and Critchley and Madsen the spin options.

As for the comments at the members forum about the t20, regardless of the quarter final, it was a season of great improvement. The death bowling was a bit of a problem, and I can't help but wonder what might have been were Thakor available and had Henry fired. Tahir and a batsman should fill the overseas slots next season ideally.

Finally I thought Robert Crofts comments about the outfield were pretty scathing - the value to the club in staging additional events is huge, but a better balance needs to be struck to maximise the amount of cricket. I'd hate to see a repeat of last week cost us a promotion or qualification opportunity in the future

notoveryet said...

Likewise, I'm pleased to see Barnett staying on. As I've mentioned before, the last thing we needed was another upheaval in leadership. The structure he's put in place needs longer than a year to embed -in reality, it's more like 8 months since the coaching roles were filled, and 4 months since a new group of players came together) and his departure at this stage would have threatened its continuity. The T20 improvement has been indisputable but the lack of progress in other forms leaves a question mark about whether either the structure or the personnel in it are right. However, it's far too early to say, as some have, that we should go back to the head coach-led structure that has failed so badly (with brief exceptions) over 15 years.

I’m not so sure about the success of last year’s recruitment. Reece had a hesitant start but has grown in stature as the season's progressed in all formats. Otherwise, it's a pretty mixed bag. Mendis took wickets to be sure, but didn’t change the course of matches, build pressure or exert control, and I think that's what you expect from your overseas bowler. I think Barnett's comments recognise that Mendis wasn't a great success. It doesn’t look as if we’re going to get much more from Tahir, so his contribution is pretty much limited to T20. It's interesting to look at the spinners who were more effective than him in T20 - Matt Parkinson, Mason Crane, Gareth Batty, Brett D'Oliveira, Jeetan Patel, Adil Rashid, Danny Briggs, and Shahid Afridi all had better bowling averages and economy rates, while Mitchell Santner, Roelof van der Merwe, Wayne Madsen and Samit Patel all had better economy rates, and Liam Dawson, Azeem Rafiq, Max Waller and Ryan Pringle all had better bowling averages and not significantly worse economy rates. It's not to say Tahir failed, but it wasn't anything like as good as I expected, and he was a very long way from being the outstanding bowler in English T20. Wilson started well but has fallen away badly, not helped by his regular absences and some poor luck with decisions. Whatever Smit's merits as a wicket-keeper, he hasn't been a success in the job he was brought in to do as a solid middle order batsman, and shows again (as with Mendis and Broom) that you can't rely on domestic overseas statistics to judge whether someone can succeed in English cricket.

In terms of recruitment going forward, the first thing that needs to be addressed is Wayne Madsen's loss of 4 day form. If there’s any risk it continues, our discussions about overseas players begins and ends with a proven middle-order batsman, unless we're in the market for the likes of Daniel Bell-Drummond, who is apparently out of contract with Kent and being courted by the Bores. I'm sure that Derbyshire will be fully aware of who is out of contract and eligible for an approach, and will know who is being released well before the official announcements are being made. I’ll throw out a few interesting names. James Tredwell asked for permission to talk to other counties because of his lack of first team opportunities, and would give us a controlling spin option and a capable batsman to balance the long tail. Graham Onions is out of contract and hasn't so far been offered a new one by Durham, and showed against us just how good a bowler he still is. Waller (mentioned above) has been released by Somerset as they re-focus on 4 day cricket, and would be a much cheaper replacement for Mendis / Tahir as a one day bowler. There were reports that van der Merwe might also leave, and he offers an effective one-day bowler and a very dangerous hitter. of course, it's one thing for people to be available, and something else entirely for them to want or be able to come to Derby, but I'd far rather see us looking at players who have achieved in English conditions than exploring the debatable strength of overseas domestic cricket or minor successes in BBL.

Peakfan said...

Good post and some interesting names...

Peakfan said...

Good post Sam!

Anonymous said...

Tredwell would be a good mentor for Qadri and he bats a bit too doesn't he - yes from me