Thursday, 5 July 2018

Derbyshire v Lancashire Vitality Blast preview

A few short weeks ago, a limp batting effort when the base had been built for a victory charge was squandered by Derbyshire against Lancashire, a result that set in motion a succession of disappointing results.

RLODC progression was there for the taking and ignored, so tomorrow offers an opportunity for things to be put right. The squads were announced this afternoon and there were several notable things within the Derbyshire ranks.

First up was the omission of Billy Godleman. He is one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet and a fine player, but I have said before that I have never been convinced of his suitability for this format and felt we needed something more at the top of the order.

Then there was the fact that no captain has been announced. Last year it was Gary Wilson who got the gig for the majority of the tournament, with Daryn Smit replacing him when he had Ireland duties. This year either of them could be in the frame, as could Alex Hughes, but I can only assume that the 'big reveal' will come tomorrow. Might even be something left field, with a new man taking the reins.

It all suggests that the squad has rightly been chosen by the coaches - John Wright, Dominic Cork and Grant Bradburn - rather than the senior group, so the extension of that is that they will have decided on the captain for the format, or at the very least for this game.

It is a squad that contains two new additions, announced today, in Anuj Dal and Matt McKiernan. Both have impressed me when I have seen them, Dal being a free-flowing, very wristy batsman who played quite delightfully at Belper recently, as well as registering a cavalier knock or two in T20 second team matches. He can bowl useful medium pace as well, so from a balance perspective has much to offer.

So too McKiernan, who looks a prospect with his leg spin, unfazed when the Glamorgan batsmen tried to get after him and with good turn. I didn't see him bat, but the club's Twitter feed reckoned him a hard-hitter, as they really have to be in this format. They are both mobile in the field, though their inclusion suggests that Brodrick, Davis and Gleadall are unfit, none having played in the recent second team game nor, to my knowledge, for their clubs this past weekend.

The squad in full:

Slater
Critchley
MacLeod
Hughes
Madsen
Wilson
Smit
Dal
McKiernan
Viljoen
Ferguson
Riaz
Sharif
Rampaul

I'd be surprised if the two new lads play here, but there is a decision to be made behind the stumps and if both Gary Wilson and Daryn Smit play then the assumption would be that Sharif also misses out here. Then again, his growing reputation as a death bowler could earn him the nod, especially with Bradburn in there to fight his corner.

Lancashire?  Well they have Liam Livingstone back from Lions duty to skipper the side and welcome back Joe Mennie from injury, who is joined by fellow Aussie James Faulkner in the overseas roles. If they get a slow wicket to suit their spinners I will be astonished, especially after Lockie Ferguson seemed thrilled to see pace and bounce this week.

Their squad: Livingstone, Brown, Clark, Croft, Davies, Faulkner, Jennings, Lester, Lilley Mennie, Onions, Parkinson, Parry, Vilas.

So no Joss Buttler to contend with, at least, but a stern test for our boys. With so many new names, so many unknown entities in the squad, I find this a hard one to predict. Last night I watched Nottinghamshire, the reigning champions, get well and truly stuffed by a disciplined Birmingham Bears side, which served to illustrate the strength of this group.

You all know I am an optimist, so I am going for a fast and lively Derbyshire attack having enough in the locker, especially with the motivation of a new coaching team, to get us off to a flyer here.

What do you think?

8 comments:

IanC said...

Glad that they have signed Anuj Dal and Matt Mckiernan and added them to the squad. Though i haven't seen them play,they have both made a big impression in recent weeks and while they may not be big names potentially give us more depth to the batting and more options to the bowling. Potentially 12 of the 14 man squad can turn there arm over (just wilson and slater i haven't heard of bowling),while 12 of the 14 have been known to score some runs (am excluding Rampaul and ferguson here).

Riaz,sharif,Ferguson,Rampaul,Viljoen all have economy averages of about 8 an over and just over 1 wkt per match (at t20 intl level).

Even when batting they have a strike rate of 100+ apart from Ferguson (not enough data) and rampaul,with a batting avg of approx 10+.

For home games we can probably expect 4 of the 5 to play,while away it may be 2 or 3 depending on pitches. However it does mean that we have more bases covered now for slow and medium pace bowling with mads,critch,mckiernon,Dal,Macleod and hughes.

Reece is a big loss,but i think the club has done as much as they possibly could to replace him.

Hopefully if we can keep opposition scores down around or below 170,we
will have a chance

Tim, Chesterfield said...

My side would be, I think;

Slater
Critchley
MacLeod
Madsen
Hughes
Wilson
Dal
Viljoen
Ferguson
Riaz
Rampaul

I'm not overly keen on what Rampaul has done so far but his T20 stats are impeccable so cannot be ignored. Is his fielding a detractor? Not seen any cricket live this summer so not sure but he is a big lad and his mobility might . We lack batting so I feel there's little option but to drop Dal in there at 7. Don't know much about him but what else can we do other than play Wilson as a batsman with Smit in instead but I don't think he's deserved to be at the head of any queue

Theoretically there's a strong bowling line-up there but I worry that we will be playing catch up as runs won't come quickly enough.

Sam said...

From the 14 I would be omitting Dal, Sharif and Rampaul. I can't see many scenarios where you would need 4 big quicks to bowl their full allocations in t20. They all went for above average economies last year anyway and more than anything we'd struggle to bowl the overs in time. Madsen, Critchley, Hughes and McKiernan should be able to get through 8 overs between them, it allows the best keeper to play, and giving us a bit more batting depth. Notts showed on Wednesday there's little point having 7 front line bowlers in the team when you can't get near a par score in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the comment about the good efforts to replace Reece. Although I remain unconvinced on the need for 3 out and out pace bowlers this is a well set squad

Matt Mckiernan seems a good signing: never seen him play but has been playing 2nd XI cricket for a few counties with a decent record without getting a first team gig

FYI Gleadall is playing for England U19s

Luke

Marky Mark said...

This Derbyshire batting side is good for 150 tops, 120 bottom. I'll be amazed if we post many totals bigger than 150.

notoveryet said...

Bearing in mind that 8 out of the 14 will be making their Derbyshire T20 debut if they are in the team, and 5 have only been with the squad for a few days, I'm a bit surprised by the optimism and expectation of so many of the comments. Like most commenting here, I've not seen half of the squad, so I'm not in any position to suggest who should or shouldn't be in the team. I might be pleasantly surprised, but one of the things that is often said about T20 is how important it is to have teams in which individuals understand their roles and those of others, and it will be a miracle by Messrs Wright, Cork and Bradburn to have knit this squad together in a matter of days. Let's just hope that whoever is going to be captain can put names to all of the strange faces and remember who bowls what.

It all looks panicky and thrown together at the last minute, more than the absence of Reece required, and the lack of information about the captaincy seems indicative of this. Surely the player who will be doing it has been told so that they can plan and think, so why not say who it is going to be?

I may be alone on this, but think the absence of Godleman is a mistake. He had one of the highest strike rates in last year's competition, and although he had a run of low scores in the final few matches never committed the cardinal sin of eating up dot balls before getting out as Slater did last year. Add to that his outstanding form in the one day cup, I'm surprised and disappointed that he's not in the squad. I suspect that no other player who finished at the top of their side's one day averages will be left out of their T20 side, so hope that this isn't one of the first signs of on-field fall out from Barnett's departure.

It very much looks like a battle of spin v pace, as Lancs look very strong on spin, and we saw how Livingstone and Parry strangled the life out of us in the one day cup. A few people have commented that our emphasis on pace is at odds with the prevailing wisdom of pace off the ball, but what we know is that good quality high pace is as effective as good quality sharp spin. If the real Viljoen, Rampaul and Riaz turn up and Ferguson is as fast as the brief clips of him suggest, it could be an exciting evening, but demands that Smit rather than Wilson keeps wicket to limit the damage if they don't.

All in all, I rather expect us to lose, as our batting looks very shallow and in the absence of Godleman and Reece, only has Madsen, Critchley and Slater capable of making big scores. If they don't make them the 15's and 20's we can expect from others probably won't be enough.

David Woolley said...

I think the first seven on your squad sheet are nailed on PF. Then it will be four from the other seven, which in realism will be two from five due to the fact that Riaz and Ferguson are our specialist T20 signings.
Have we got enough batting? I don't know, but T20 is such a short format, that one little bit of luck can be the difference between success and failure.
Just one other thing PF, do you know where young Brodrick is? I would have thought he would have made this squad, so i'm presuming he's injured.

Peakfan said...

I believe Calum Brodrick is injured, David