Tuesday, 3 October 2017
Smit contract extension is excellent news
While his batting was less prolific than he or we would have hoped in 2017, I have a feeling that it will be a marker for him. Let's not forget that he played very little post-Christmas cricket in South Africa last year, after a shoulder operation. He then moved his life over here and joined the club a couple of weeks before the cricket started, thus having no real pre-season.
Playing county cricket on English tracks against a Dukes ball would have been an eye-opener for him and his average suffered. This, let's not forget, is a man who averages mid-thirties throughout his career and I suspect will do again. A couple of key innings in the T20 showed his capabilities, but I think that we will see a different player with the bat when the new season dawns.
What we do know, beyond doubt, are his credentials with the gloves. I'd be quite happy to apply the moniker 'world-class' to his wicket-keeping, having watched him sufficient times to pass judgement. Of course, there will be an occasional error, but he is human, like us all and makes far less than many others. With Kim Barnett bracketing him with Bob Taylor and Jack Russell in his experience, I'd suggest that we are well-served behind the timbers.
Daryn is a genial man and tales of his work with Harvey Hosein and willingness to help younger players already abound. They hail back to his days at Ramsbottom, where he had time for everyone who wanted advice and help.
Harvey could not wish for a better mentor and I suspect that they are the one/two behind the stumps. Gary Wilson will be another option, but perhaps concentrating on his batting may be of benefit to the club vice-captain.
Over the winter they will all work together and then the summer will begin with one of them being the preferred option.
I don't think Harvey would let anyone down, but nor do I think another couple of years or so working with Daryn would do him any harm either. He will end it a more complete player with bat and ball, getting cricket, I suspect, primarily in the four-day game until his ability to find the boundary regularly increases as he fills out.
We are very lucky to have two talented players for the role. As I wrote last week, the player who improves his 'weaker suit' will win the day and from a personal perspective, and as someone who wants to see a winning Derbyshire side, I merely want one of them to make the place their own.
It promises to be a battle royal and the healthy competition can only benefit the side.
Good news to start the close season.