Friday, 30 March 2012

Final pre-season squad named

The 12 men who will contest Surrey's final pre-season game against Leeds-Bradford MCCU have been named and interestingly a couple of key players have been rested.

The 12 man squad, and a possible XI, is as follows:

Jason Roy
Gary Wilson
Tom Maynard
Rory Hamilton-Brown
Matthew Spriegel
Rory Burns
Chris Jordan
Tom Jewell
Stuart Meaker
Tim Linley
Matthew Dunn

12th man: Freddie van den Bergh

Jon Lewis and Jade Dernbach have been rested because, presumably, they are already on the teamsheet for the opening game against Sussex. The key position to watch out for is who comes out to open the batting - Chris Adams confirmed at the AGM that Hamilton-Brown will return to his favoured middle order this season which leaves the position of Rudolph's partner vacant. Given that Spriegel will likely lose his place to Gareth Batty, Jordan was tried in that position this week and found wanting and Wilson will probably play instead of Burns against Sussex, that leaves only two likely openers - Wilson himself and Jason Roy.

Roy is of course more comfortable in the middle order in Championship cricket and will probably return there once Davies is home from Sri Lanka. Wilson was tested as opener in the first three fixtures of last season, averaging 22 and without a 50, but only one of those innings was a complete failure - a 10 ball duck at Lord's. Who gets the job is very much up in the air, but I think Adams might go for Roy again.

The other interesting battle to watch will be who of Meaker and Linley comes off best. Or whether the pair of them are outshone by young Matt Dunn who Adams could pick to play his first game of this pre-season. Although van den Bergh performed well against Somerset, he will have to go back to university soon I think so Dunn would be a more sensible choice. Meaker and Linley are probably in a shoot-out for the final seam bowling spot in the team and I don't envy Adams in having to make the decision between the two.

As for the opposition, this will be their debut as a first class cricket side but they do have previous at the Oval having beaten us there in 2005. And of course Surrey's most recent university game ended in an embarrassing defeat to Cambridge last May. Only one of their side has first class experience but they won't want to be hammered and shouldn't be taken lightly.

The batsmen, particularly Maynard, Roy and Hamilton-Brown, should look at this as a key opportunity to face a lot of balls and bag a lot of runs. The bowlers simply need to continue the good work they've been doing already. Just a few more days to go now!


miltonkeynesman said...

As we get closer to the opening day, the weather looks decidely less welcoming. Before the internet and instant communication news of pre-season friendlies was sketchy or even non-existent. Probably form in the bar at close of play was more important.

However time marches on and it will be important to make a solid start to the year. I hope the batting can produce a platform. I presume Rudolph will turn up in time, but what of de Bruyn ? Is he playing in SA ?

The bowlers will be expecting to rotate, but with the batsman more likely to settle into a regular unit I hope they can all make a few early runs, paricularly Jason Roy, could be a big year for him in his second full year.

Slip catching is important at this time of year. I was brought up on Mickey Stewart, Mike Edwards and the real King Kenny and later on Graham Roope and Monty. Before that there was Tony Lock. Catches do win matches!! Happy spectating, looking forward to your blogging too.

GreenJJ said...

It is important to hit the ground running - although as last year tells us it ain't how you start it's how you finish!

Rudolph will be here in time for the first game, likewise ZdB. The SA season is still ongoing and his side are in their T20 final I think, but he's not been in the T20 squad so who knows.

I agree the bowlers will be rotated, possibly some enforced rotation because of England duty etc. It should be a big year for Roy, I certainly hope it is!

You have to think there will be a lot of catches behind the wicket early in the season, Batty and Hamilton-Brown could be in action a fair bit. Hope they are at least!

Hope I can keep up with the season, looking forward to it getting going.

miltonkeynesman said...

You're right about it's where you are at the end of the season that counts - the Fergie doctrine. However in CC Div1 its a lot tougher and a good solid start to the season is essential in my view. Even with a Kartik spinner coming in later I wouldnt be wanting to win, say, 4 out of the last 6 or similar to stay up. That's why we need some good solid 4 day batting. Glad the SAs are arriving on time. Hope they have extra jumpers. Looks like Davies wont be having to have enforced ECB rest either. Shame he cant be released early if he's just sitting around in SL.


GreenJJ said...

Absolutely, we don't want to be in the same situation as last year but needing wins to survive. Not because I don't think the players could cope, I'm not sure I could! I'm a bit frustrated by the Davies situation too, ferrying the drinks around in SL when he could be plundering runs for us!

Jerry said...

Where's Ansari?

GreenJJ said...

Well he's away at Cambridge, but van den Bergh is a uni student as well so I did wonder what the difference was. I guess maybe the terms are different but I think Ansari won't be regularly available until the T20s in June.