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Hashim Amla arrives as Graeme Welch faces selection dilemma

Steve Dolman
1.34K   //    10 May 2015, 20:34 IST
Hashim Amla
Hashim Amla – a massive addition to the Derbyshire side

There is something almost surreal in seeing the international superstar that is Hashim Amla in Derbyshire colours, as can be seen today on the club site.

If only for a short while, he is Hashim Amla of Derbyshire, a memory that I am sure will warm the cockles of your heart in years to come. If he performs to his usual standard over the next week or two we are in for a treat. The club's initiative of allowing youngsters in free of charge for the Northamptonshire game is to be applauded and I hope rewarded by a bumper crowd.

The makeup of the Derbyshire side is anyone's guess. Will Tom Taylor, Tony Palladino and Wes Durston be fit? Will there be a place for a spinner? What will the batting line-up be?

Amla will come into the side, of course, but logically Chesney, the worst-performing of the batsmen at Cardiff, would be the one to make way. Yet that would leave us an opening batsman down unless the skipper moved back to the top of the innings. It would be very harsh on Scott Elstone should he be omitted, while both Shiv Thakor and Alex Hughes offer all-round options. It is a tough call, but a nice one, for Graeme Welch to make. Better that than trying to find six batsmen who are in good enough form to include.

We will have a better idea tomorrow, no doubt.

It was good to see Tom Poynton keeping the pressure on Harvey Hosein by scoring his second century of the summer for the seconds. Young Harvey will be well aware that he needs to maintain his standards with the bat and behind the stumps to remain first choice, but it is rare to have two such talented players for the same position on the staff.

Also interesting was seeing Michael Comber playing in the same side. He was a promising young cricketer at Essex before a couple of injuries slowed his development and he was released in 2012. Since then he has scored big runs for Suffolk, where he played alongside our wicket-keeping coach Simon Guy. An unbeaten 78 stated his credentials quite nicely and at 25 he still has time on his side to make the grade at the county level.

No doubt he will have other opportunities before the summer is out, but his record suggests that he is well worth a look.

More from me tomorrow, time (and news) permitting,

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Steve Dolman
I work in retail and have been published in the Derbyshire Cricket Yearbook, as well as having a book in print on a different subject.
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