Divided loyalties in Derbyshire - Martin Guptill's New Zealand and Tillakaratne Dilshan's Sri Lanka
Well it's been a jolly old day today, after the breaking news on the signing of Tillakaratne Dilshan this morning. I am sure that Derbyshire loyalties for the remainder of the World Cup will be divided between New Zealand (aka Martin Guptill) and Sri Lanka (home of 'The Scoop')
Both sides have outstanding batting line ups. Sri Lanka's outstanding veterans, Sangakkara, Jayawardene and Dilshan, are enjoying outstanding form and can make a mockery of any run chase. Angelo Matthews is another fine player and they will be tough to beat. The bowling is not quite so strong, especially since Lasith Malinga's pace has dropped, but their spin variations will keep teams guessing.
I'm going to go for them to beat South Africa tonight/tomorrow, a side of all the talents but which often seems too reliant on AB de Villiers when things get tough. If the South African batting 'clicks' they can beat anyone, but at times the top order seems oddly brittle and their bowling is heavily reliant on Dale Steyn having pace, rhythm and direction. We'll see soon enough.
Pujara main target as Dilshan cover
Earlier today, Sam asked if I thought we would see someone recruited for the busy July period while Dilshan is away. My answer is simple - yes.
We simply cannot afford to lose impetus at such a key stage and I suspect the number one target may be Cheteshwar Pujara. The club is so professionally run these days that there will doubtless be plans B, C and D in place, though I suspect those targets will be batsmen.
While I agree with Sam that Adam Milne looks a terrific pace talent for New Zealand, we're hardly short of seamers and we'd need a major injury crisis to sign another from overseas.
We are still to announce our 'death' bowler for T20 but I suspect that he will come from Australia. The success of the Big Bash this winter put a few players in the spotlight and some of their seam bowlers seem to have mastered the skills of such bowling far better than their English counterparts. They have several good bowlers who won't make the Ashes party, so that would be my educated guess.
Dilshan is coming to Derbyshire...come on Sri Lanka!