Thursday, 23 February 2012

Rudolph arrives to bolster the batting

Surrey have announced the signing of South African Jacques Rudolph, as an overseas player until IPL-bound Murali Kartik arrives in late May. All in all, this is a very good signing for this stage of the season.

There are seven Championship games, and ten games in all before the end of May so Rudolph will be available for a lot of cricket. At a time of the season where opening the batting is often very tricky, with the ball swinging and seaming around more than it might in August and September, a solid, experienced pro at the top of the order is hugely important.

There is of course the prospect of Steven Davies being absent for the very early part of the season on England duty in Sri Lanka so a stand-in opener, likely to be Hamilton-Brown, will still be required, but batting with Rudolph can do him the world of good. A man with 213 first class games, 45 first class hundreds and five test hundreds, including a double to his name, knows how to bat for long periods of time. Hopefully that will rub off on the captain.

And when Davies returns, presumably to partner Rudolph at the top, Hamilton-Brown can return to the middle order where he prefers to bat, and Davies can continue his fine work from last season where he averaged 54 from 11 innings as opener.

There is no doubting the talent in our batting lineup, but we definitely felt an experienced batsman light, especially early in the season in 2011. Rudolph has the ability to get us off to good starts in games. The experience of Ramprakash and de Bruyn in there too, mixed with the youthful exuberance of the skipper, Maynard and Roy makes for an exciting combination.

I would expect Gary Wilson to deputise for Davies as keeper initially and it'll be interesting to see if he can re-capture the form of his late 2010 purple patch. Batty will probably continue at number eight and three from Lewis, Linley, Meaker, Jordan and Dernbach (with Tremlett absent through injury early season) will vie for the bowlers' slots.

The step-up in class to division one will become all too apparent the moment we open our season against Sussex, but Adams is building on last season with a good mixture of solid and flair players. Bring on April!


miltonkeynesman said...

Hi - I think we agreed previously that signing a batsman for the early season might be a good idea. I had hoped we might find a permanent recruit, but all in all this guy - if he is committed - should be an asset. Without wishing to be libellous, I do think his career has been a bit patchy and a number of these guys have switched allegences and "Kolpak registrations" to suit. I see Robin Petersen has joined Essex and upset Glamorgan.

He can help take some of the expectancy off of the less experienced batsmen - but hopefully none of them will feel their careers are threatened by his presence. Assuming Kartik and Nannes come as planned, he will simply move on to play for SA or another county, I presume ?

It aint like it used to be, in an ideal world it wouldnt happen like this, but with the proviso that they do have to perform, overseas players should improve the standard of the games and the development of young English players.

Its getting warmer, perhaps next season will start in February.


GreenJJ said...

Morning MKM

Yeah, absolutely, a permanent recruit to open would've been much preferable, but in the circumstances this is pretty good. I'm with you on the Kolpak thing, its not satisfactory at all and the loophole should be closed. I think its Alviro Petersen who's gone to Essex (all these Petersens/Petersons/Pietersens, its confusing!) and there's been a couple of others too, didn't Justin Kemp and Ryan Mclaren do the same thing?

I guess he will just move on to another county in June, or maybe back to SA, hopefully having scored buckets of runs!

The season does start earlier and earlier every year, so maybe it will!

miltonkeynesman said...

Wow - certainly got my P*******ns all mixed up. When I was a lad I would have known all the names, initials and career records. Now a lot of these guys pass by like ships in the night. I cant even remember which (how many) counties some of these guys have been at - or whether I saw them play!! And as for remembering who plays for which IPL side....I wonder if there are 14 year olds out there who live and breathe the IPL comp? Perhaps there are in India?
Anyway a good result for England today and the tour ends with a decisive twenty20. Would be nice if Buttler made a few. Lot of talent. Jury is out on Dernbach at this level, but good luck to him.

Cheers again.

miltonkeynesman said...

Dernbach did ok tonight. Good on him. Just wish he would celebrate a bit less wildly. Sigh!

GreenJJ said...

Did a fine job, bowled the 18th and 20th overs for 13 runs, and a wicket. Broad was very good too. You're right though, his celebrations are a bit over exuberant, probably annoys a lot of people. I just put it down to his passion!