There's all of a sudden the possibility that 40% of England's World Cup quarter-final overs will be bowled by Surrey County Cricket Club players after Jade 'Dirtbag' Dernbach got the call from Messrs Flower and Strauss summoning him to England's cause.
I'll avoid all the inevitable guff about him being South African born because A) I'm bored of that debate and B) that fact doesn't bother me. I've seen a lot of Jade over the years and he has improved out of sight from the bowler of 2-3 years ago, there is no question of that in my mind. I was still absolutely staggered at the news mind you!
He's not exactly a youngster, he's 24 (almost 25 in fact) and has been around the county circuit for a good few years now. His record, statistically speaking, isn't spectacular - 148 first class wickets at 32 and 95 List A wickets at 27, but those numbers have been going in the right direction and 2010 was a very good year for him. Up until the start of 2010 I was beginning to worry that a man who had played over a hundred games in various formats for Surrey wasn't stepping up to the next level, and then he did just that. 46 County Championship wickets at 29, which when you bear in mind he was injured when in great form and plays half his games at the Oval isn't bad going. But it wasn't just the numbers, he seemed an altogether more intelligent, rounded bowler than in previous seasons. With Jade you always get 100% committment but last season there was that little bit extra to go with it.
Without having had the speed gun on him regularly its difficult to say definitively how quick he is, but in some of the televised matches he's been into the late 80s and even the low 90s when he's in good rhythm. And that is key to Dernbach, if his rhythm is off he can go for a few - as his economy rate of over 6 from 60 List A games shows.
If he does play, don't expect him to come in and blow England's opposition away but he's quick, likely to get the ball reversing if conditions are right and of course there's the oft-cited back of the hand slower ball to fox the unsuspecting batsman.
I'm obviously delighted that another Surrey man has been recognised like this and he should be rightly very proud of his achievement. However if you'd told me 12 months ago that Jade Dernbach would be (India and South Africa victories permitting) flying to India to join England's World Cup squad, I'd have been very sceptical indeed!
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