Sunday, 25 March 2012

Squad named for trip to Taunton

Chris Adams has tinkered with the squad that traveled to Chelmsford last week, 13 brave souls will go to Taunton, first for a one day game tomorrow and then a three day first class match from Tuesday.

The following 13 players have been selected:

Rory Hamilton-Brown
Tom Lancefield
Arun Harinath
Matthew Spriegel
Tom Maynard
Jason Roy
Rory Burns
Chris Jordan
Jon Lewis
Stuart Meaker
Tim Linley
Jade Dernbach
Freddie van den Bergh

Presumably at some point over the four days all thirteen players will make an appearance, but Adams will probably want to use this as further opportunity to evaluate two principal issues.

First, who will open with Jacques Rudolph when he arrives? Interestingly Hamilton-Brown didn't open in either innings against Essex, Adams opting instead for Roy and Harinath. The jury on Roy as an opener is definitely out, in 14 innings he averages in the late 20s with, two 50s and a hundred. I can see that Adams wants him to play the enforcer role at the top, a la Sehwag or Gayle and he may yet grow into that, but I wonder if he's ready for that challenge just yet. Similarly Harinath's record as an opener is far from brilliant, from 23 innings he averages in the low 20s with three 50s and no hundreds. Mentally and technically he is perhaps a long term bet as an opener but again I feel it might be too soon for him. It will be interesting to see if Adams continues with that pair, goes back to Hamilton-Brown, or tries something different altogether - Spriegel or Lancefield perhaps. The latter averaged 32 during a brief stint as opener in 2010 and was in good touch last week.

The second issue will be which two of Lewis, Linley and Meaker will nail down their spot in the Championship side. Lewis, with a clutch of wickets, and Meaker, with wickets and aggressive runs, did themselves no harm last week. Linley will want to bag a few scalps this week to press his case further.

Adams will also want to see how Chris Jordan is faring after his time with Barbados, there's still time for him to crowbar himself into contention and give the coach even more to think about. It's also worth keeping an eye on Freddie van den Bergh if he gets some game time, a left arm spinner still at university, very much in the Zafar Ansari mould, he was the academy player of the year in 2011 and is very highly thought of.

After the batting failed to fire in either innings at Chelmsford Adams will be looking for a big improvement on that front. The bowling will have what looks to be a full strength Somerset batting lineup to contend with, Kieswetter, Trescothick, Buttler, Suppiah, Trego, Hildreth and Compton will all be hungry for some runs of their own.

No comments: