I'm feeling quite psychic tonight. First I predicted that Mark Footitt wouldn't play against Australia tomorrow, which turned out to be bang on the money, then suggested that Derbyshire might look to the Kolpak market for recruitment, something that Graeme Welch confirmed in an interview with Mark Eklid in today's Derby Telegraph.
Much as I suggested, we might even be prepared to go 8/3, if the right players were available. It just makes sense, with Welch suggesting a Kolpak and an English passport player, plus an overseas. A cursory glance at white players in South Africa whose futures could be under threat from the changes threw up a few interesting names. None of them may be interested in giving up their international claims, but there are some good players in there.
I also said that Mark Footitt wouldn't play against Australia and he's not. It made no sense at any point for him to do so, given that we'd want his pace to come as a surprise for England, should he be required. He also has a lot of bowling to do for us this summer and a couple of wickets against Australia is really neither here nor there. We all know he can bowl and if he doesn't get a tour chance this winter the selectors clearly have no idea what they are doing.
The side tomorrow sees a number of regular players rested, but a welcome return for Ben Slater, fresh from scoring a hundred in each innings against Worcestershire Seconds. He skippered the side to a fine win and should be full of confidence for his return. The lad will have benefited from his break and will be a long-term talent for the club.
The side:Ben Slater
Will DavisRob Hemmings is twelfth man.
There is a rare outing for David Wainwright and Jonathan Clare, while Harry White and Will Davis make up a youthful but talented seam attack with Tony Palladino. The youth of the side suggests they are unlikely to replicate the win that the 1996 side had over the tourists, but they will doubtless battle hard and gain great encouragement from any successes. Which is what it is all about, of course.
Australia will doubtless play their fringe players, though Shaun Marsh has a strong claim on a Test place should Chris Rogers not recover from his dizzy spells before the next one. Shane Watson will be desperate for runs, as will Brad Haddin, but there should be good entertainment for the crowd.
I'd hoped to get down there for this one, but have too many other commitments closer to home.
I will be following things closely from afar and hope we give a good account of ourselves.