Saturday, 28 January 2012

Something for the weekend

If any one thing is going to convince you that Derbyshire should have a decent season in 2012 it is the excellent interview by Mark Eklid with Usman Khawaja in today's Derby Telegraph

Khawaja is on a learning curve, accepts that and is prepared for it. His impressive work ethic will stand him in good stead, as will the obvious and pleasing rapport that he has with his team mates. I thoroughly expect him to finish with a better average and aggregate than last year and am confident that Martin Guptill will do the same.

Any prediction regarding the T20 from me will wait until I see who our other acquisition for the tournament is, but at this stage I am confident that we can mount a strong challenge in the Championship and the Pro 40, if:

  • Khawaja and Guptill contribute their expected weight of runs
  • Our strong array of seamers stay fit
  • David Wainwright proves to be a wicket-taking spinner and solid batsman
  • Ross Whiteley returns from Oz a fully-fledged all-rounder
  • Tom Poynton proves a worthy successor to Sutts behind the stumps
  • Wayne Madsen shows himself a bold leader who sets the standards
I think the signs on all fronts are positive and I'm equally impressed by the daily blogs on the club site from the young players in India at present. They're not out there for a jolly (though the team-building aspect of that and the pre-season Barbados trip cannot be ignored) and will return better equipped to play on the turning tracks they will face as the season progresses.

I'm unaware of Ross Whiteley's development as a bowler over the winter, but his batting has continued apace, a powerful century today in Australia for Prospect CC emphasising his great potential. If Whiteley and the rest of a talented bunch of young players return from their winter's work with their techniques honed we will be in the mix.

In closing, I had a look last night at the future tours schedule for the ICC. In 2013 the only nation relatively cricket-free in our summer is New Zealand. Let's hope we can hang on to Martin Guptill folks, because if this summer goes to plan, Usman Khawaja will line up against England in the Ashes.

Have a good weekend!

PS Just watching the Big Bash Final. Brett Lee took two wickets in his first over, including danger man Herschelle Gibbs first ball. Still a joy to watch a bowler of such obvious class....

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