Durham v Derbyshire: Day 3
Back in the 60s, when I was a little kid, I used to watch Batman on TV.
It was a load of hokum, as each week Batman and Robin got out of situations of unimaginable peril with ever more bizarre gadgets, such as anti-blast powder, that rendered them immune to explosions. Realistic it wasn’t, but each episode there were recurring scene links that somewhat repetitively said “Meanwhile…back in Gotham City/the Mayor’s Office/the Batcave”….
So, at the risk of being accused of plagiarism (at least I cite my sources…) meanwhile, back at the County Ground today, Ben Slater and Peter Burgoyne added 300 against Northamptonshire, each making well over a hundred.
Acknowledging that it was against a second team attack (albeit one with decent first team experience) there is no justification whatsoever for omitting them from our next championship match, against Yorkshire at Chesterfield on July 17.
Indeed, in my opinion, given that we will be relegated this summer, we should now give both lads an extended run in the side to assess their mettle for the future. They’ve earned the right, with good displays at club and second team level. I totally acknowledge there will be a jump in class, that they may be found out, that they may not be up to it – but then again, they might just make a fist of things.
Our batting averages make worrying reading. Outside the skipper, Chanderpaul and Hughes, no one has yet, in mid-July got 250 championship runs. I love Wes Durston as a cricketer, but the reality is he averages 18 this summer. Dan Redfern averages 15. On the bowling side, David Wainwright has eight wickets at 75. Why not, at this stage see what some of our lads might do?
I feel for Richard Johnson tonight. He has been elevated to opener, far from experienced in the role and has failed twice. Then he sees Tom Poynton make a good fist of what was his role at seven and get an unbeaten 50. Does that mean he will be out of the team? I don’t know the answer to that one, but it’s a tough man management decision for Krikken in the next few days.
So how about this side for Yorkshire at Chesterfield?
Maybe a step too far, but with all these lads in good form there’s no better time to play them. Whether the rationale for playing the current players is mental toughness, experience or whatever, I’d throw caution to the wind and give the young ones their head. So we lose? Hey, that’s happening anyway. People will at least be more understanding.
We’re going down. Let’s do so and learn a few things in the process.