Friday, 8 June 2018

And on to Durham

The RLODC is over for another year, at least our involvement and, by extension, my main interest in it. Yesterday was a team disaster, but to quote Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind, tomorrow is another day.

The comments below my report were indicative of the unhappiness of supporters, but we move on. There have been plenty such days over fifty-one summers, days when I have wondered why I bothered supporting a team that frustrates more than is good for the soul. But it's what you do when you support a sports club, isn't it?

At the end of it all, mid-table in the group is no failure, when bottom was predicted by many. We beat all the teams in our division in four-day cricket and when we take the chances that enable it, we can beat those in the top tier too. Why we so often flunk our lines when the big occasion dawns is something that would occupy a team of psycho-analysts, but hopefully the fast-approaching T20 might offer succour in our time of need.

So too might the four-day game, in which we currently lie fourth and in the promotion mix at this stage. It is a position that may flatter and may not be sustainable if there are too many more injuries. The loss of Luis Reece - third best batsman and best bowler on average - crippled our fifty-over aspirations and we await news on the duration of his absence, which will impact considerably on our T20 plans.

A four-day game at Durham, starting tomorrow, affords opportunity for others.  Gary Wilson is also missing, on Ireland duty, so there are batting places up for grabs ahead of the squad announcement. One assumes that Billy Godleman will revert to his opening berth in the four-day game, and Callum Brodrick and Harvey Hosein would appear to be battling for a middle-order slot. Perhaps they might play both, because Alex Hughes is out of sorts this season, a bucolic knock against these opponents in the RLODC excepted.

It is too early for a squad announcement, but I would expect Derbyshire to go with the following side:

Godleman
Slater
Hosein
Madsen
Brodrick/Hughes
Smit
Critchley
Viljoen
Qadri
Olivier
Rampaul

Let's face it, there aren't many more options out there in a small squad. The loan market may be an option if there are more injuries, but I would prefer to see what the talented Brodrick and Hosein can do in an elevated role.

The Smit/Hosein debate hasn't gone away and won't, but each has the opportunity to cement a role in the team, Smit as an excellent keeper who can bat, Hosein as a talented batsman who can keep wicket. As I said the other day in a comment, I think that Harvey's technique could see him as a fine top order batsman for us, but I am less sure of the consistency of his wicket-keeping at top level. Likewise, Smit has shown in South Africa that he can score runs, but needs to show that here now, when a somewhat fragile batting line-up needs those it can rely on for regular contributions.

I'll be there for the first two days and look forward to saying hello to friends old and new who have already been in touch.

Postscript: no Will Davis and I of course omitted Tony Palladino from that squad. Alfie Gleadall is also in the fourteen with the 12 named above.

As for our hosts, Mark Wood has joined back up with England ahead of their ODIs against Scotland & Australia, while Barry McCarthy & Stuart Poynter are away on Ireland duty ahead of their T20 tri-series against the Netherlands & Scotland.

Michael Richardson is missing after picking up a thigh injury while batting against Leicestershire last night while James Weighell, Matthew Potts & Brydon Carse remain sidelined, as is Paul Collingwood.
It means there could be a number of new faces in their eleven. Ryan Davies is confirmed to make his first-class debut as wicketkeeper, with Michael Jones & Matt Salisbury also included in a 13-man squad.
Tom Latham will also make his maiden first-class appearance of the season, after replacing Aiden Markram before the start of the One-Day Cup.
Josh Coughlin, Gavin Main & Liam Trevaskis all make the squad after impressing for the Seconds in the early part of the season.
Their squad:
Cameron Steel (c), Tom Latham, Will Smith, Graham Clark, Gareth Harte, Michael Jones, Ryan Davies (wk), Liam Trevaskis, Nathan Rimmington, Josh Coughlin, Chris Rushworth, Matt Salisbury, Gavin Main
I am going for Derbyshire to bounce back with a win here, because pride will have been hurt after yesterday's debacle.
What do you think?

7 comments:

Mark Neve said...

Is Palladino injured? Surely he would be a told bet on Durham wicket?

Mark Neve said...

If Godleman doesn’t open this week I think I will scream. I would 100% get Harvey and Brodrick in the team. Come on lads. Maybe even get Gledhall in the squad.

Tim, Chesterfield said...

We've only got three specialist batsman! You couldn't make it up...

N said...

Let's get brodrick in the side and have a look at his batting. For me HH perhaps to keep

notoveryet said...

I think that this is one that we definitely should win, although the forecast suggests that some time might be lost on Sunday. Durham were on the rack against us at Derby until some poor bowling opened the door to them on the third day, and Mark Wood charged through it on the last day. This is a much weaker side even than it was then, so it would take an almighty hangover from Trent Bridge for us not to win. But then again, I was cautiously optimistic about Notts as well.

There doesn't seem to be any spin in their squad which probably indicates that there won't be much encouragement for Qadri. I'd be surprised too if Gleadall plays, making the final choice two out of Hughes, Hosein and Brodrick. If Hughes plays, it would only be as a bowling option, but with a 4 man pace attack and the limited value of his bowling in 4 day cricket, I'd go with Hosein, who brings a bit of experience and reasonable seconds' form, and Brodrick. Three seems a bit high for Hosein, but he did well a couple of years ago standing in for Godleman at Glamorgan, and I'd prefer to see Madsen. With Critchley at 6, that would leave Brodrick at 5. It's an inexperienced looking line up, but with Smit at 7 hopefully building on his earlier performance against Durham and Palladino perhaps defying my prediction that his batting days are behind him with his battling performance to save the game, it's got a little bit of depth.


The one puzzle is the continued absence of Davis. He played for the seconds on Monday and there's no suggestion of injury, so it seems odd that a bowler who has been so much a part of the team and has done so well when he's been fit is getting such limited opportunities.

Anonymous said...

That really is a very poor durham side, would expect a win if weather doesnt intervene. Perfect opportunity to bounce back.

Delboy

N said...

Problem is our tail begins at 4. :-(