Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Dernbach in, Tremlett out for decisive games

After today's nerve-jangling victory over Kent in the Championship, tomorrow the focus switches back to the Twenty20 with the same opposition at the Oval, and the final group game at Hove on Friday.

The good news is Jade Dernbach returns from his double-wicket final game heroics to clinch England's series with Sri Lanka. The bad news is Chris Tremlett, the hero of last Friday's Hampshire game, will not be allowed to play by the ECB. The squad and expected XI is as follows:

De Bruyn

Bench: Wilson, Schofield

It's as you were then, aside from the logical swap of Dernbach for Tremlett. Although Batty only bowled a solitary over on Friday there's little reason to bring in Schofield in his stead (or Wilson for that matter, since Adams clearly likes to keep his bowling options open). And why would you change the formula which saw us comfortably overcome the form team of the South Group?

You still feel that there's a really big score just around the corner for Roy or Hamilton-Brown, they've both looked in decent form but only have high scores of 52 and 51 respectively.

Kent are in decent T20 form having won four of their last six games, including a relatively comfortable win over us at Beckenham (I haven't quite fathomed de Bruyn's innings in that game yet). Darren Stevens and Azhar Mahmood have been in good form for them with the bat but their opening pair have been poor. Mahmood has likewise been a threat with the ball, as ever, though it's his countryman Wahab Riaz who is the real danger.

On the back of four consecutive T20 wins we have to go into this match as strong favourites, which is always dangerous. Having had a good look at Key over the last day or so though, Hamilton-Brown will know better than to under estimate his counterpart and his troops.

If we win tomorrow we qualify for the quarter finals for the first time, if memory serves me right, since 2006. At the moment we really do look a good unit in limited overs cricket, I've criticised Adams' selections in the past (and I still think he picks to many bowlers!) but I cannot argue with the results being delivered. One more win and things are really looking up!

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