Tomorrow morning Derbyshire and Surrey face off at Chesterfield, no its not a weird morning start for a Twenty20 match, its the start of a four day game. After four weeks of non-stop Twenty20, and with six Twent20 fixtures still to be played, a County Championship game has been plonked into the fixture list.
It won't be easy for the players to readjust only three days after their last T20 blast, going from 10-an-over to 3 (or hopefully 4 or 5!) an over will be mighty tough, but do it they must. The squad hasn't been announced, but since Jason Roy, Tom Lancefield, Matthew Dunn, Stuart Meaker and Laurie Evans have all been named in the Second XI squad to play in a game starting tomorrow, we can probably safely count them out. In the case of Roy and Meaker this is particularly disappointing, especially given Dernbach's injury.
Steve Davies is in the England Lions squad for a game with West Indies A on Tuesday, so he won't play and there's a chance Gary Wilson might be playing for Ireland on Tuesday, hopefully he'll be excused, if he isn't I've no idea what we'll do for a keeper! Given Davies spectacular form in the last couple of T20s, that's a particularly poorly timed Lions game!
Given that, I think we can probably expect a team along the lines of:
There's a couple of things to clear up here. I presume Andrew Symonds will not play, it was my understanding that he's only signed for the Twenty20s. If not his appearance in the middle order would strengthen the batting a great deal. The game will be played at Chesterfield, a small ground which Symonds might enjoy!
The second issue is the reappearance of Afzaal. This is more out of necessity than anything else. With the Lancefield, Roy and Evans in the Seconds, I don't see how they can do anything but recall Usman. Hopefully he'll regain some form and might even slot back in for the remainder of the T20. If he doesn't play tomorrow, there might be grounds to question his future at the club.
Chris Tremlett may well be rested given that he's played all our T20 Cup matches, but I'm not quite sure who would come in with Meaker and Dunn otherwise engaged in the Seconds. The team above is a little bit light on the batting front. Younus is unfamiliar as an opener and isn't in great form (although his last four day innings was a good, unbeaten 77) and Wilson and Schofield are at least each a place too high at six and seven.
I hope some last minute amendments will be made to the squad which will hopefully shore things up a bit. If they aren't made, I think we could be over-reliant on a couple of senior players to get us through the next four days.
Mohammad Hafeez is Back!
2 days ago