Monday, 15 July 2013

Five in a row the aim for Surrey

It seems that Surrey rather enjoyed my time out of the country, winning four Twenty20s and drawing a Championship game with Notts. A creditable draw too, save for a disastrous first innings from the home side. Attention turns back to the T20 tournament again now as we play Essex this evening.

A 13 man squad has been named, and a possible XI is below:

Steven Davies
Jason Roy
Ricky Ponting
Gary Wilson
Glenn Maxwell
Azhar Mahmood
Zafar Ansari
Zander De Bruyn
Gareth Batty
Jon Lewis
Jade Dernbach

Bench: Vikram Solanki, Chris Tremlett

Throughout this season and last we seem to have been employing the old "cobble together as many runs as possible and then strangle the opposition" tactic that was so successful in the 2011 CB40 campaign. What is different about this season though is that we have a lot more firepower in our batting lineup, in addition to a fine and varied bowling attack. On paper at least our batsmen should be giving our bowlers a lot more breathing space.

Davies and Roy have been largely effective at the top but thereafter all but Gary Wilson have been something of a disappointment. Ricky Ponting in particular has been unable to replicate his masterful Championship form, instead continuing his IPL T20 form with just 35 runs from 40 balls. Perhaps he's due an explosion of batting prowess, or perhaps his best T20 days are behind him. The lack of runs in the middle order may be down to failing to find the right combination of the "Floating Four", Wilson, Maxwell, Mahmood and Ansari. Take Wilson out of the equation and the remainder have contributed only 168 from 149 balls between them in five games. If the right combination is found then no total will be out of sight. Maxwell, incidentally, will be playing his last game for the club and while he's been a useful contributor, perhaps his departure will create a space for Tom Curran to be blooded in the First XI?

If the batting has misfired, the bowling has been peerless. Dernbach and Mahmood's variations have stifled teams at the top and particularly at the death, while Jon Lewis has been a surprisingly effective addition to this year's attack. Ansari and Batty have been effective in keeping run rates in check and while de Bruyn hasn't, he has collected more wickets than everyone bar the excellent Dernbach. With big boundaries likely at the Oval again the bowlers will be confident of defending most totals north of 140, though it would be nice to have a bit more room for error tonight.

And despite being demolished by Middlesex last week for 74, room for error is what you need against a side like Essex. With Shah, Bopara, ten Doeschate, Rutherford and Foster in their top order runs should not be as hard to come by as they were against our London rivals. Indeed in their very next game Essex chased down 171 with four balls to spare against Sussex. Shaun Tait will lead their bowling attack and after just one wicket in his first three games he has started to find his feet, returning 4-26 against Sussex. If Tymal Mills plays as well it could well be the quickest attack at the Oval this year.

As I'd hoped when the competition started we are proving quite a handful in this format and with five fixtures left to play we are well placed to progress. Two wins against Sussex and a win against Middlesex in recent weeks would be very nicely augmented by victory over Essex tonight.


miltonkeynesman said...

Josh - I should have realised you were back, when I saw they had lost! Hope you had a good time.

I guess you cant keep defending smaller totals esp on big grounds with good wickets. Ponting scored well if a little slowly, needed some explosion from one of the others. Maxwell a bit disappointing and I dont understand him only ever bowling one over. Bring back Spriegel (who did well for Northants on Sunday).

Anyway anyone can beat anyone and we need to believe that before the Hants game. I guess Solanki comes in and perhaps Tremlett against his old team. Beware the returning Carberry! Interesting that Hants play a 4 day game in the heat away at Canterbury and then come straight to The Oval.

Should be a good game and good atmosphere.


GreenJJ said...


You guessed it right, I'm back and we are of course losing again! The strategy was always likely to come a cropper at some point. I agree Ponting ideally would've scored a bit quicker but can hardly criticise him tonight. I also agree with you re Maxwell.

I think Trem could've been a handful tonight but he'd have been a liability in the field too. I'd like to see a youngster come in personally but I doubt it'll happen. Fingers crossed for a good game against a class side!

sansin G said...

Rickey ponting absence may bring silence to the future still if we see ponting potential it would be a dilemma scenario and also there may be a possibility for the nightmare things to happen yet and surely ponting presence may have a strong expectations one side..lets wait and watch for the thrilling things in upcoming matches of this series to experience the hot moments...
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john brid said...

Thanks a lot for providing such a nice information. I love to watch T20 cricket every time. Essex team showed their performance and they are traveling in victory journey. Glenn Maxwell is my favorite player and i use to pick him every time when i play Fantasy Cricket League with my online friends.

raja babu said...

i want Rickey ponting i am really missing him Cricket Highlights
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Unknown said...

Thanks so so much i like your article nice articles keep sharing..

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