Derbyshire v Glamorgan preview
Shiv Thakor and Alex Hughes are rightly rewarded for their recent big scores in the second team with a recall to the first eleven at Chesterfield tomorrow.
Ben Slater misses out on a game on his home ground, while Scott Elstone also drops out of the side. Tom Poynton is also omitted, which sees a recall for Harvey Hosein. There is little to choose between the two wicket-keepers, but assuming the same standard behind the stumps, the deciding factor, as it is with every such role, will be the batting side of the incumbent's game. Tom hasn't made the runs that would have wanted, so Harvey gets another opportunity - it is the way that it has to be and the competition will eventually see a clear winner.
We play a Glamorgan side that are perhaps surprise packages in the promotion race, aided by a clutch of players of South African origin. Jacques Rudolph has done a fine job as captain, something always likely from an intelligent cricketer, but the eleven has responded well to him and four straight championship wins tells its own story.
Colin Ingram, who played at Spondon a few years back, has also played some telling knocks and they are a tight unit, perhaps stronger than the sum of the constituent parts. Graham Wagg is back from injury and will look forward to a return to a ground where he often did well.
Their squad: Rudolph, Bragg, Wright, Ingram, Wallace, Meschede, Wagg, Lloyd, Salter, Smith, Cosker, Hogan and Donald.
The Derbyshire squad:
Wayne Madsen (captain)
A battle for the final place between Thakor and Taylor for me, but a winnable game. I always feel more confident of a good display in the four-day game and think this is one we can use as a catalyst to push for a top four placing.
Postscript - I read with interest today that Roelof van der Merwe has given up on South African cricket and is now planning his career in county cricket, using a Dutch passport. A good enough all-rounder to have scored a first-class double century, a canny spin bowler and a good fielder, at 30 I would think there will be a lot of interest...he certainly had an impressive spell at Somerset a year or two back.