Thursday, 9 June 2011

And now back to the cricket

The brief non-cricketing interlude caused by the proposed introduction of 'walk on girls' will now hopefully pass, the club having decided to shelve the idea indefinitely. Alright the u-turn could've been communicated better and it was a monumentally silly idea in the first place, but credit to the club for changing their position. An old Spanish proverb goes "a wise man changes his mind, a fool never will", the club's members objected to the idea and 48 hours later they canned it, end of story. No one at the club will have intended any offence to be caused (though it doubtless caused plenty), let's draw a line under it.

So, the cricket. The big piece of news to report is that Kevin Pietersen looks set to play his first competitive Twenty20 match for the club having been temporarily released from England duty - alas the same cannot be said of Chris Tremlett who is retained by the ECB for the time being. The full squad for the two games against Glamorgan and the return Gloucestershire fixture coming over the next couple of days, and the expected XI is:

De Bruyn

Bench: Schofield, Linley, Wilson

I'm a bit surprised that Matt Dunn and Tom Jewell were not named, particularly the former, perhaps they don't want Dunn to incur any Cosgrove-shaped scars at such an early stage in his career. Given that Pietersen has to play and none of the other batsmen are likely to be dropped I live in hope that I will get my wish that we will play six full time batters.

There remain two final selection question marks, Spriegel or Schofield and Linley or Arafat. Although he was dropped for the last game I get the feeling that Arafat wasn't quite fully fit against Gloucestershire, he certainly didn't look to be at full pace, so although Linley has bowled really well I think Arafat's week of rest allied to his biffing ability might just give him the nod. If Arafat can find some as-yet elusive form, an attack of him, Dernbach and the thankfully-fit Dirk Nannes ought to be very dangerous.

The Spriegel-Schofield question is tricky, Schofield's batting has been in better nick, but I prefer Spriegel the bowler. With de Bruyn in the side we can afford to pick the superior batsman, but given Hamilton-Brown has barely bowled the South African so far I think he might elect to go with Spriegel in the hope that he can bowl four good overs and bag a few runs for good measure, but it's a close-run thing.

Glamorgan have a won-one-lost-one record so far from their two games although last night they came as close as anyone has this year to beating Hampshire in very nearly defending 120 at the Rose Bowl. In Cosgrove and Petersen they have a mighty fine Twenty20 opening pair and their batting doesn't end there with Allenby, Wagg and Wright down the order. With James Harris absent from their 14 man squad their bowling strength lies in the talent and experience of Croft and Cosker who have given away just 5.4 runs per over from their 15 overs this season, taking 6 wickets in the process.

Last year we failed to defend 168 at the Oval against the Welsh side, one that may have had Tom Maynard in it but on the flip side there was no Alviro Petersen for them in 2010, so Surrey won't be taking anything for granted. There's millions of runs in our top order as the game against Gloucestershire showed, and the addition of the extra bat should allow more of a margin than we had against Hampshire. If we can deal with the Glamorgan spinners we should be right on course.


Alternate Rowan said...

Bit of a shame about Tremlett - I did get my hopes up a bit that the ECB would let us have all of our players back for the weekend.

I'd be more inclined to put Linley in than Arafat. And I'd get de Bruyn to bowl a little more. But hey, what do I know about cricket? (aaaaaand T*TS!)

GreenJJ said...

Yeah it's a pain, but they do keep their bowlers (or rather our bowlers!) very closely guarded.

On form Linley certainly deserves his spot, but being the overseas and being able to bat a bit makes Arafat tough to ignore, much of a muchness though.

Impressed with your self-censorship there!

Tim V said...

6 Batsman, hurrah!

Excuse my ignorance, but what's a Cosgrove-shaped scar?

GreenJJ said...

Hi Tim,

A Cosgrove-shaped scar is what might be left on a batsman if Mark Cosgrove bats to his ability, largely a mental scar depending on where Cos decides to hit it.

Tim V said...

Thanks, I understand and good work putting the mockers on him for tonight!