County Cricket: Derbyshire v Gloucestershire preview
Not the best of starts to the weekend, with Derbyshire's defeat last night being followed by the Rams going down unluckily at Wembley today. Still, that's sport for you and there's no point crying over either of them.
Both sides need to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and start all over again. Bit like the old song says, really... Derbyshire get the first chance to do that with a game at the County Ground tomorrow against a Gloucestershire side that is perhaps more than the sum of its parts. You don't look at their team sheet and think them especially dangerous, but they have produced some good displays this summer and will take a little stopping.
We need a win or an individual performance to lift the mood. Pre-season I was optimistic and felt that we could challenge for a promotion slot in the four-day game. I also felt, like Graeme Welch, that we had a better chance of success in the one-day matches, but there has been what a number of supporters - myself among them - feel is tactical naivety so far.
Unless there's a reconsideration of the short-form methodology sometime soon, it promises to be a long and not entirely pleasant season. More on that later in the week.
Anyway, back to the four-day game and there's likely to be a similar team to the one that faced Kent recently. Mark Turner is back in the squad, but my guess at this stage is that unless the wicket is especially green he will be twelfth man, leaving the following side:
Borrington, Moore, Madsen, North, Elstone, Hughes (A), Cross, Wainwright, Palladino, Groenewald, Footitt.
As for the visitors, they have the in-form Will Gidman as a bowling danger man, while their batting line-up always seems to find someone to hold the innings together. Hamish Marshall has had a good summer so far, while Michael Klinger is due some runs and is a good overseas player.
Can we win? Of course. Will we? I think I'll reserve judgement on that one.