As Oliver points out below yesterday's post, there's something quite satisfying about Martin Guptill's recent return to form against England.
As we all know, 'The Gup' is a batsman of undeniable class and I still find it hard to believe that none of the IPL sides were willing to sign him up this year. I was going to write 'take a punt' there, but there is no risk in signing a player like Guptill. he generally gives himself the best opportunity to do well by playing straight and through the 'V'. When he hits a bad trot, it is usually because he's started to play across the line a little more and needs only to go back to basics.
His driving is a feature of his game and that long stride he gets in enables him to go over the top to any slight variance in length. I really hope - as I am sure you all do - that we can get him for the T20.
Can you just imagine sitting down at the County Ground to watch Derbyshire bat and out walk Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Martin Guptill? Cricket doesn't get much better than that and there should be every expectation of a great public response if Guptill agrees to sign after the ICC World Cup.
A Derbyshire challenge in the T20 is long overdue and after last season's experiment with a death bowler in Rana Naved, which unquestionably failed, the county's tactics look set to change with two hitters at the top of the order - and rightly so.
I'd like to see Chanderpaul bat it through as far as possible, a most able of sheet anchors, allowing the rest to play the shots around him. If he could do that, Derbyshire will mount decent totals and have the bowling, especially slow ones, to strangle the opposition response.
I'd say even at this early stage that I don't expect Messrs Palladino and Groenewald to play much T20. We need them to stay fit through to the end of the season, and while there were critics of Palladino's absence from the tournament last year, it was fully vindicated by season-end. Yes, he may have bowled well and struck some lusty blows - but he could easily have tweaked a hamstring, or injured a shoulder diving around the field.
It is easy to say that T20 is 'just four overs' for bowlers, but there's a lot of running, diving and fast throwing, any of which can cause a nasty long-term injury. Expect to see Mark Turner spearhead the T20 attack, with plenty of spin support and cameo appearances by Groenewald and Clare.
Fingers crossed we perform this year!