Having watched Derbyshire a lot this summer, thanks to the excellent county streams and my compressed shifts at work, I am now quite open in our quest for another overseas player for the T20.
I thought that a spinner would be our main need, but I'm not so sure now.
I have watched Matt Critchley over the opening weeks and he has come on so much over the winter. I am at the point where I don't think he is a batsman who bowls a bit, but is becoming a genuine all rounder, providing the hard work to maintain both disciplines is not beyond him. There is a nice loop to his bowling, he has decent variations and he is eminently capable of being our slow bowler for T20. We also have Wayne Madsen, of course, who was successful last year and could easily be again.
Then look at the seam situation. There's Viljoen, Sharif, Rampaul and Wahab Riaz, plus Luis Reece and Alex Hughes in a likely eleven. It poses the question as to how many bowlers we really need to cover twenty overs and my hope is that whoever we sign is capable of biffing quick runs as well as turning his arm over.
Let's look at where we have gaps and near certainties for a T20 side:
I could make a case for Ben Slater to open, just as I could for Billy to do so. The skipper was improved in T20 last year, but isn't for me a certainty in the short form. You could have an either/or with Rampaul and Sharif if we went down the bowler route, but there are none of the others you would really omit from a first choice side.
Gary Wilson did a good job as skipper, apart from in the quarter final, when he should have changed the game plan when Afridi came in at the top of the order and we were out thought by our opponents. He will doubtless do well again and is a dangerous batsman in the middle order. Yet I wouldn't want him keeping as well, as it is too much for one man, and besides, Smit is peerless behind the timbers and, as he did yesterday, twice last year played key late innings knocks when they were most needed.
Among the other day's comments, James suggested the likes of Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Glenn Maxwell or Shakib Al Hasan. I don't think we could afford them sadly, even if they wanted to come and weren't on tour, but an all-rounder to slot in somewhere would do me fine, whether a spinner or not.
Luis Reece could then open and everyone else move around to suit. Maybe there's someone on the Pakistan tour worthy of interest, although I'd not be averse to Jimmy Neesham from New Zealand. For me he was the best of our Kiwis three summers back and did a good job for Kent last year. I didn't and don't think he is a death bowler, but he won't need to do that in our side. He's a good batsman and fine fielder, someone who would fit well into the current line up, but equally likely to be in demand for those very reasons.
We'll see what news breaks in the coming weeks.