Thursday, 26 January 2012

Return of the Nannes

Surrey have confirmed that Australian fast-bowler and global Twenty20 mercenary, Dirk Nannes, will be returning to the club for the 2012 Twenty20 Cup. Nannes had a successful 2011 campaign, playing every game and picking up 19 wickets at 20 runs apiece along the way.

News of his return is a boon, its good to have certainty around our overseas contingent for the tournament due to start in June, and his pedigree is unquestioned. He will turn out alongside Murali Kartik, putting to bed any suspicion that a third overseas player would be signed purely for the T20.

I wonder whether there is a danger of us being a batter or two light, not just for the Twenty20 in fact, but in general for 2012. Chris Schofield's absence from the squad may be felt more keenly than anticipated should one or two of our big hitting batsmen have a complete loss of form. We may even look back fondly on Yasir Arafat's lower order biffing if the worst came to the worst.

It undoubtedly gives us a very strong looking bowling lineup, if everyone is fit and available, to be able to pick from Nannes, Kartik, Tremlett, Dernbach, Linley, Meaker, Dunn and Lewis will be a nice conundrum for Adams to have. But assuming there is no Kevin Pietersen, and there's no reason to suspect there will be, beyond a top six including Roy, Davies, Maynard, Hamilton-Brown, de Bruyn there isn't a huge surplus of pure batsmen in the squad. Sprigel's flashes of brilliance in 2011 may be called upon more often and in more formats for the coming season. Gary Wilson too may be drafted in.

Interestingly, Chris Adams' latest interview on the Surrey website suggests that we are pursuing an overseas player in Murali Kartik's stead while the Indian will be playing in the IPL. He says that they won't sign someone "for the sake of signing", but if someone of sufficient quality is not picked up in the February 4th IPL auction they may dip into the market - so keep an eye on that one. They could do worse than explore the possibility of signing a batsman, given the strength we have in fast bowling and the early-season conditions. Although perhaps unlikely, with Dernbach, Maynard and Roy on the preliminary list for the IPL, Adams could have more gaps to fill!

With February almost upon us, and friendlies due to start in March (yes, March), cricket is just around the corner again and Adams will want to have as many of his ducks in a row as possible. Members of the squad who disappeared on various overseas crusades this winter haven't had the best of times by and large, here's hoping they're getting their iffy form out of the way before the English season gets started!


Anonymous said...

Surely the batting has got to be a serious worry?? Your top 6 in the blog only has 5 names! Ramps will come in for the Championship games, but given that he didn't play in the shorter forms last year, I doubt he will this season. That leaves Messers Spriegel, Lancefield, Harinath and Ansari to fill the 6 and 7 spots. God help us if Davies gets injured or called up by England.

Don't get me wrong, I think its great that Adams has confidence in the younger batsmen, I just hope that they are up to the job!

I'll leave my concerns about the lack of a proper opener for the championship for another time!

GreenJJ said...

Haha! Well done on spotting the deliberate is a concern and at the end of last season I was convinced Adams would dip into the market for another bat. But Harinath and Spriegel renewed their deals and like you say, it shows admirable faith, but that's a lot of pressure on their shoulders. Ansari is something special, but still so young. The openers issue is a big one, could be exposed quite harshly in division one, but I don't see a way round it really.

miltonkeynesman said...

The way he's playing at the moment Pietersen might be available to Surrey next season, although I genuinely doubt whether he would trouble to do that - and I sincerely hope not anyway.

Actually despite all the talk of "abject" England it was a super Test Match to follow. They havent become bad players overnight, just their batsmen prove to be vulnerable to pretty good spinners on spin friendlier wickets - not a surprise.

Your article on our batting is valid. If injuries or international calls up occur we are a bit short on back up. You either trust the youngsters or try to find a replacement. Not sure who might be on the market at this late stage, but did wonder if South Africa might offer up one of their test batsmen for the first month or two of the season to get their eye in before their Test series. But perhaps most of them will be with the IPL? However if Murali is also coming late an overseas batsman might be worth a look.

We shouldnt be short on seam options, although I reckon the physios might be looking to get a wage increase to look after that fragile lot. The groundsman might be raising the mower height too.

Bit cold for cricket tonight, but its nearer next season than last !!

GreenJJ said...

I can't see KP coming to play for us much, for one I think he will come good for England one way or another, and also like you suggest, he probably doesn't fancy playing county cricket!

I was thinking Ashwell Prince might be a decent option for early season, not going to have IPL to play and not in the SA side at the moment. Will be interesting to see who doesn't get picked up in the IPL auction, might be a bit of a county bun-fight for any top class players not picked up.

Fair point about the physios, we might have a lot of seamers, but only really Linley seems to be physically strong all the time!

Does feel like winter proper tonight, but hopefully it'll come round soon enough.

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