Friday, 1 June 2012

Kartik set for debut in weekend double-header

The Jubilee weekend gives little time for celebration for Surrey's players as they face three CB40 games in four days, a period which could go a long way to defining their chances of retaining the trophy.

Chris Adams has named a 13 man squad to take on Glamorgan, Hampshire and Scotland, the squad and possible XI is as follows:

Rory Hamilton-Brown
Steven Davies
Jason Roy
Tom Maynard
Zander de Bruyn
Matthew Spriegel
Gareth Batty
Murali Kartik
Jon Lewis
Stuart Meaker
Jade Dernbach

12th men: Gary Wilson, Tim Linley

No real surprises in the 13 names selected then. Murali Kartik comes in as overseas replacement for Jacques Rudolph, who surprisingly actually only played one CB40 game for us in the end. Zafar Ansari is not available due to university commitments, the sooner he gets that out of the way the better from Surrey's perspective. I am a little surprised that Gary Wilson was named in the squad ahead of Rory Burns, who has been in good form for his club side.

The bowling attack looks very strong, as ever. Meaker and Dernbach have been Hamilton-Brown's preferred opening bowlers and both have gone at less than five runs per over this season in doing so. The skipper will then look to a combination of Lewis, Batty, Spriegel and Kartik to tie the opposition down in the middle overs before turning again to his quick men. What we have done so expertly, this year and last, is rotate bowlers really well and as a team we race through the overs, not giving the opposition a chance to draw breath.

The batting does however look one short. While Maynard, Hamilton-Brown and Davies have been in good form, de Bruyn, Spriegel and Roy have brought little to the table in terms of run scoring. Because of the quality of the bowling Hamilton-Brown will be confident of defending almost anything above 200, but it would be good to see some others in the runs. Spriegel in particular, who has not yet been able to replicate his batting form of 2011 (though his bowling has been very impressive). You always feel there's a big knock just round the corner for Roy, and his second innings effort against Warwickshire hints that he may be coming into some form.

Surrey's first opposition, Glamorgan, have had a bit of a rough time of it at the start of 2012. Before the arrival of Marcus North they could barely buy a run but he has inspired some more confident batting. They will also have the talents of Martin van Jaarsveld to call on, and their back up batsmen, including Rees, Wallace and Wright are effective players on their day.

Glamorgan's stand out bowlers, Huw Waters and James Harris have not been named in the squad but in Simon Jones, Dean Cosker and Will Owen they have a blend of experience and youth, they won't be a pushover.

Hampshire, who Surrey face on Sunday (weather permitting!) meanwhile look an altogether stronger outfit. Unbeaten until their defeat to a strong Nottinghamshire outfit last night, they carry threat throughout their side. Their batting, led by Carberry and Adams, ably assisted by Katich, Vince, Ervine and the finishing talents of Mascarenhas is very strong. I'm a huge fan of their young bowlers too, Briggs and the left armer Wood may not be terribly experienced but are high quality.

Given our form in the CB40 we should be looking to beat both sides this weekend and Scotland on Tuesday. Certainly the Hampshire game looks the most challenging of the three, but Adams won't take the other two lightly either. Three more wins would put us on 12 points, and in a very strong position in the group.

No comments: