Sunday, 6 May 2018

Warwickshire v Derbyshire day 4

Derbyshire 318 and 209

Warwickshire 439 and 85-2

Warwickshire won by eight wickets

The end, when it came, took less than an hour and was quite painless, as Warwickshire's two former England men, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, steered them past the winning post with ease, after the early loss of Sibley to Matt Critchley, whose bowling impressed in this game.

There was no great surprise in it, but the damage was, as previously written, largely self-inflicted.

We move back to the 3aaa County Ground this weekend with the visit of Durham, but there are a few issues for Derbyshire to sort out in the batting line up, before then

My understanding, for what it is worth, is that Billy Godleman opted to bat in the middle order this summer, thus allowing Luis Reece and Ben Slater, both currently averaging 49 in four-day cricket, to bat in their preferred positions.It was a laudable thing to do but, for me, not best for the team.

Wayne Madsen prefers to bat three, and is currently averaging 50 there. Then again, Wayne has scored runs opening the batting and at four, as well as first drop, so I don't really see tweaking his role as being much to the detriment of the side, or to his performance.

Alex Hughes prefers to bat at four, which currently leaves Billy at five. He is the skipper and a batting linchpin over the past few seasons at the top of the order, but is averaging six from five innings in the middle order this year. Were he not captain, there would be consideration as to his position in the side, but for me, we just need to move things around to get the best from him and retain the contributions of others.

There will be another change for Durham, because Gary Wilson is on Ireland duty. That should mean a recall for Daryn Smit, who scored an unbeaten century in the Lancashire League yesterday, but he should slip to seven and allow Matt Critchley to move up to six.

I like Gary Wilson as a batsman, especially in the one-day game, but I am less convinced by his keeping. While he made some good stops from wayward deliveries in this game, he also drops more 'routine' balls than he should, especially down the leg side and it impacts on the overall tidiness in the field.

Yet he averages 39 with the bat, something that Smit has to match, while performing behind the stumps to his usual standard.

Like a few of you, I would open with the skipper and Ben Slater, with Luis Reece going in at three, where he has done well in T20. With Wayne at four and Alex at five, the batting would have a more organised look to it, for me.

I'm not going to write off the season for one defeat, nor the batting. Four men currently average over 48 (Hardus Viljoen the other) and every side has blips along the way. Warwickshire will be in the mix this summer with four former internationals and we have run them close in this game.

And yet...if we are bowling Hardus Viljoen and Mark Footitt together, there is a danger of conceding a lot of runs quickly, in extras if nothing else, as both are prone to losses of radar. I suspect Ravi Rampaul will come in for Hamidullah Qadri at Derby, which will help, while Smit's return will improve the out cricket.

We lost to Warwickshire because our second day bowling was poor, careless, amateur - call it as you will. Had we bowled remotely to individual reputation, in the conditions, they would have made 250-300 at most and would have been chasing around 250 to win, a completely different game.

There's a few things to sort out, but if we manage that, we can get back to winning ways against Durham.


  1. Spot on, I also think Olivier looks a rhythm bowler as well, so 3 in the same attack may be egging it. MC increasingly looks a quality young player. Personally I think your top man goes at 3 but I am a little old fashioned.

  2. I think as times goes on Billy will be a fantastic club captain. As supporters we have to remember mistakes will be made and learnt. I remember last year the Northampton game he gave them a generous target and we lost game. In the match against Middlesex this season he put the game out reach for them and gave us time to bowl them out. Another learning point is remembering captain role is very important but also is his own role as a batsman. If he had sacrificed his strength as opener to let Slater and Reece developed then my hat goes off to him for doing that. His strongest position for the team is opener. I personally think Reece would be fine as number 3. I think the challenge I would set the players like Slater, Reece and Hughes that to be become a top county player turning 30s,40s into hundreds. I certainly think they all got the talent to do that.

    Another question came from warkishire game

    Can you play Vijeon and Footit together?

    I think you can do you need world class wicket keeper like Smit behind stumps. I think both players can be unplayerable at times but then you can get the other side when they have lost line and length and see extra score being near top scorer of the day.

    I am huge fan of Footit still feel he should of been given opportunity at International level. My other question is we have 5 other bowler Rampaul, Vijeon, Oliver, Paladino, Davis when selecting one day cup Where would he be in terms of being picked. I am looking at 4th or 5th pick? I think in 1st class cricket no question he is rusty but with his track record he worth playing. I don't doubt in Championship he will cause lot batsman trouble when he is fully fit.

    I still think we in a healthy position and top 4 finish this season is possible being realistic

  3. Bear in peace....

    I saw three sessions over the first two days and have to say Madsen played beautifully. It seemed to me to be a tightly fought contest for the first half of the match. A proper game of cricket!

    When Footitt started bowling his radar was clearly not yet finely tuned however I think he will do well for you chaps. I quite like the look of your squad with the blend of youth and experience that you have, I think the competition for places is a good thing as you try to challenge the status quo. I hope you can keep some of those younger players and not have them taken by others just as they are started to come good!

    I hope Reece can get some more consistency with the bat...I've got him in my fantasy team!

    All the best for the rest of the season I look forward to following your results!

    Keep up the good work on the blog, I thoroughly enjoy reading it!


  4. Hi Andrew thanks for getting in touch and thanks for your kind comments and involvement.

    Please feel free to stay involved with comments on us, your team and the division as a whole. We are all adults here and it is a friendly environment (I think) for the exchange of views.

    Your comments are spot on. Luis will get around a thousand, no worries there, and he will chip in with wickets too. Mark takes a game or two to sort his rhythm, but if he clicks, plenty will know about it!

    Good luck for the rest of the summer - except in our future games, of course!


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