Wednesday, 2 May 2018
Wahab Riaz signs for T20
Because when he gets his dander up, when the stars are aligned in such a way that he has body and mind together to make a beautiful whole, he is one of the fastest bowlers in world cricket.
Even in T20, where bowlers have only twenty-four balls to make an impression, Riaz can and has turned a few matches with overs of startling pace and hostility. The thought of him doing that in Derbyshire colours, perhaps running in to bowl against Nottinghamshire or Yorkshire, or indeed anyone else in that kind of vein is enough to get a cricket fan excited.
The key for Derbyshire will be to get him to that state on a regular basis, because he is a player who can just run through the motions, as evidenced by their national coach, Mickey Arthur, dropping him because of a perceived lack of effort in training.
So Gary Wilson, and more specifically John Wright and Dominic Cork, will need to work out how to get the best from him. We want prime time Rana Naved, who bowled beautifully for Sussex before turning up at Derbyshire out of condition and some way removed from it.
IF we can do that, if Dominic Cork as bowling coach can quickly work out the way to get the best from a bowler of unquestionable talent, we may have a serious weapon on our hands. He only goes for seven an over in T20, and was the highest wicket taker in the last PSL.
Crucially he adds more variety to a likely T20 attack that now has a left and right arm fast bowler, together with the canny Rampaul and a combination of Madsen, Critchley and Hughes. If we can find a spinner for the other overseas role, we might just have an attack for all seasons, though that spinner role will be tough to fill.
As for Riaz, what are your thoughts? Have we unearthed a diamond for ten matches, one that might propel us to the business end of the table? If he does, before heading to the Caribbean Premier League, there will undoubtedly be plans to bring in a replacement, but Riaz has a chance to come in and shape something.
On paper, it is a signing to get excited about, the caveat being that we can get the mean and moody fast bowler of searing pace to turn up on a regular basis and keep him fit.
It will make for entertaining watching, that is for sure.
Well done Derbyshire, and Kim Barnett. In a declining market from an availability standpoint, they have brought in a player who potentially could do something special.