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56 minutes ago, The People's Hero said:

Klein is quicker.

 

Davis does seem to vary quite a bit. He does look like he can bowl in the 80s and I wouldn't be surprised if some of his spells have been at that pace.

 

Ben Mike seemed quicker yesterday; but just not much control. He did seem to hurry some of their players at times. I really think BM could benefit on a pitch like that by bowling from closer to the stumps; more of a stumps to stumps or stumps to corridor sort of line; he seemed to be bowling short and wide often, from wide of the stumps.

 

I'd be inclined to pick Klein or Davis over Griffiths in any case; but there again I've not seen them in the nets. I don't really like getting bowlers in on loan, but there is an argument for getting someone from div 1 who can open up with Wright. There is no way we can give Wright the workload he had yesterday.

 

Its only been one day of one game; but it just doesn't look much of an attack does it? There's zero menace about it; other then some of the cute balls Wright bowled (he's wily isn't he) and the youthful energy of Evans, who did get some good bounce. I know its hard when you're leaking runs and there is no pressure building, but as well as having no control, I don't even see a strike bowler in there that batsmen will fear.

 

Can anyone argue with the approach against us of 'be watchful vs Wright and then fill your boots vs everyone else' ?

I think you're spot on. If you compare us to Derbysbire who you'd expect to be playing with a similar budget they've got a very young and inexperienced bowling attack but in Cohen and Scrimshaw they've got two lads who can hit 90mph and that does give you something different. I'm not saying you want speed for speeds sake but our attack just looks very similar.

 

Mind you I expect they'd love Wright given the age range of their attack.

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15 minutes ago, CrawlingFox said:

I think you're spot on. If you compare us to Derbysbire who you'd expect to be playing with a similar budget they've got a very young and inexperienced bowling attack but in Cohen and Scrimshaw they've got two lads who can hit 90mph and that does give you something different. I'm not saying you want speed for speeds sake but our attack just looks very similar.

 

Mind you I expect they'd love Wright given the age range of their attack.

 

Yep; that's exactly it. Wouldn't mind Zak Chappell back (wonder if he regrets that move) and would certainly like to have a steady opening partner for Wright who can take off 'the load' and keep things tight when needed and build up a bit of pressure. You have to bowl in partnerships and I'm not sure who Wright can bowl in partnership with in first innings? (By second innings, Parkinson or Ackermann can potentially bowl an end). Abbas and McKay were basically perfect for us as opening bowlers and workhorses who carried a threat and would never go for silly runs.

 

Whilst I'm talking about yesterday though; I am going to say in partial defence that the Hampshire batting is a serious proposition in div 2 on a decent-ish pitch. James Vince loves batting against us anyway, but I also do rate Dawson as a decent bat and am surprised Northeast hasn't kicked on more, considering some of the talent I saw he possesses having watched him a lot at Kent. We made it very easy for them, but I do think Hampshire might do well in terms of batting this year, not because I saw anything special yesterday, but more because I don't think in previous seasons any of those batters have played to their potential and it sounds like Vince wants to play a lot of county cricket this year (Not gone to IPL for example).

 

Hopefully we make some early breakthroughs. If we are going to be regularly bowling Evans and Griffiths, then we could do without their figures taking too much of a beating. Much of that, you'd think, depends equally on how they bowl today as well as James Vince's attitude. In the nicest possible way, lets hope Vince is feeling that strain he picked up yesterday and thinks 500 will be enough. You sense they will only want to bat once and I'm left looking for a bit of steel in our batting line up to bat the requisite time.

 

Their bowling attack is probably not the scariest in the division at first glance, but they have genuine options in there and you can see each role. Abbas and Wheal you'd expect some tight, restrictive stuff and always a threat (and Abbas knows this track!) and in Abbott you have real quality also and can bowl at serious pace when he wants to.

 

Interested to watch Mason Crane bowl. He's a very able bowler and got that very random test cap. Not the tallest man; bowling probing leg breaks. There shouldn't be enough in the pitch for him as yet; but we've seen funny things from early seen Grace Road tracks in the past and it was been quite dry I think (I'm not in LE?)

 

They do then have a number of others who can bowl to fill in the gaps.

 

The point I'm trying to make here, probably a bit unfairly (budgets) is that this is a comparison of the bowling line ups selected. Hampshire's seems to have threat and control everywhere with genuine options if one or more are bowling badly or the conditions don't suit. They also definitely have more 'punch' in terms of pace, with Wheal, Abbas and Abbott definitely capable of rushing players and equally capable of tying them down. The comparison is useful, since we're in the same division, but probably a little unfair in terms of budget. I do wonder though if as a result of this strength, we can pick up an opening bowler with a point to prove from another county. I do think we need it. 

 

TLDR; very disappointing, but looking at the squads here, they are just far stronger with far more options. We have to dig in with bat and ball now and just hope its character building, not character destroying, for any of our players (not just the youngsters!)

 

Final thought .. How has Barnes looked in the warm up games?

 

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Positives:

 

- Kept at it in the field and the fielding was generally decent (although were the slips too far back?)

- Swindells tidy behind the stumps

- Chris Wright bowled some lovely balls and is clearly still a threat at this level (but 20 overs in a day might be a bit much?)

- Alex Evans looks like he will be good; something nice and fluid about his action and he found some 'lift'. Will get more success for similar efforts against lesser sides.

- Might have had more wickets but for some back luck (?) on catching dropping short and some LBW shouts and of course almost a wonder-catch from Dearden

 

Negatives:

 

- Outclassed. Won't dwell on this. Their squad is stronger and that is that.

- Hugely reactive captaincy; there was a stage where we seemed to move a fielder every time a shot was played. Set your field for the good balls, with some protection against the bad. IMO Ackermann made the mistake of sacrificing all threat; that doesn't send the right message to your bowler or to the batter. I think Ackermann is a good captain and seems well liked also (and perhaps crucially we must keep hold of him) but did this strike anyone else as odd?

- Selection of Hill seems very weird considering he is not needed to keep. We have a bit of a dilemma there. Swindells is certainly the better keeper and an elegant bat and I have to say, I just like him. Hill is more experienced and can be nuggety also with the bat... but I'm not sure there is ever a situation where I'd pick both. That is to say, I'd only ever pick the one who is keeping as neither bowl and neither is worth a pick as a dedicated bat? (Perhaps this is where Harris replaces one?)

- Whilst players kept at it and worked hard; I never got the impression we were bowling to a plan. I take the point that building up pressure gives you the luxury of some plans; but our fields were defensive and the line and length all over the place. Terrible execution or was there just not a plan.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, The People's Hero said:

 

The point I'm trying to make here, probably a bit unfairly (budgets) is that this is a comparison of the bowling line ups selected. Hampshire's seems to have threat and control everywhere with genuine options if one or more are bowling badly or the conditions don't suit. They also definitely have more 'punch' in terms of pace, with Wheal, Abbas and Abbott definitely capable of rushing players and equally capable of tying them down. The comparison is useful, since we're in the same division, but probably a little unfair in terms of budget. I do wonder though if as a result of this strength, we can pick up an opening bowler with a point to prove from another county. I do think we need it. 

 

 

 

Budget but also ability to attract and hold on to players is key here though. We don't have the playing budget to attract a player like Kyle Abbot in the first place, given his reportedly very large 6 figure salary, which offered enough security to abandon a promising test career. Also, if we had at some point players like Dawson or Vince, they would have been long gone by now. Agreed a loan bowler (especially as we have plumped for an overseas bat) would seem a sensible idea to take the workload off Wright and the pressure off the younger bowlers. But I suspect they have calculated that this is about what they can afford this season and the priority is winning games in white ball, especially The Blast. We've not the only county struggling to field a first class standard XL, as Glamorgan have just given a two year deal to James Weighell, who we didn't fancy at the end of last season. Their squad is also very inexperienced and thin on talent until Labuschagne arrives and still dependent on 39 year old Michael Hogan (Chris Wright could be bowling a few more years yet). Wagg is off bowling for Shropshire this year

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Just now, MaidstoneFox said:

Budget but also ability to attract and hold on to players is key here though. We don't have the playing budget to attract a player like Kyle Abbot in the first place, given his reportedly very large 6 figure salary, which offered enough security to abandon a promising test career. Also, if we had at some point players like Dawson or Vince, they would have been long gone by now. Agreed a loan bowler (especially as we have plumped for an overseas bat) would seem a sensible idea to take the workload off Wright and the pressure off the younger bowlers. But I suspect they have calculated that this is about what they can afford this season and the priority is winning games in white ball, especially The Blast. We've not the only county struggling to field a first class standard XL, as Glamorgan have just given a two year deal to James Weighell, who we didn't fancy at the end of last season. Their squad is also very inexperienced and thin on talent until Labuschagne arrives and still dependent on 39 year old Michael Hogan (Chris Wright could be bowling a few more years yet). Wagg is off bowling for Shropshire this year

I agree with every word; except to suggest that I think there could be creative solutions in terms of flexible player loan arrangements here. Many clubs have perhaps 8 options of good FC bowlers and pick 4/5 a game; very often the same 4/5. That must leave some who just want to play 1st XI cricket and so we could take on a loan for free, with benefit for both sides. 

 

I do also wonder why some of those players are happy not playing when they could come in permanently and likely play week in week out for us. I do respect that might not be the way the board and Nixon want to do it. Our young bowlers aren't going to improve by not playing; but it just feels a bit unbalanced.

 

It also make me a bit sad that we hadn't kept hold of Darren Stevens all these years; who would be a dependable contributor with bat and ball and really help the younger players too. I don't know the circumstances of him leaving, but he continues to be excellent for Kent (and always fills his boots with runs and wickets against us!)

 

 

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8 minutes ago, The People's Hero said:

- Whilst players kept at it and worked hard; I never got the impression we were bowling to a plan. I take the point that building up pressure gives you the luxury of some plans; but our fields were defensive and the line and length all over the place. Terrible execution or was there just not a plan.

Yes no clear plans and then always reacting defensively because the bowling was not accurate enough. Whatever Vince's merits, there is a way of bowling at him, which is outside off-stump. Key moment was when he edged Wright second ball and it fell short of Ackermann, but that's the line that should of been persisted with.

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4 minutes ago, The People's Hero said:

bit sad that we hadn't kept hold of Darren Stevens all these years; who would be a dependable contributor with bat and ball and really help the younger players too. I don't know the circumstances of him leaving, but he continues to be excellent for Kent (and always fills his boots with runs and wickets against us!)

Oh yes a local lad as well! But nobody could have predicted he would continue this long and his bowling would improve in this way like a fine wine.

 

https://inews.co.uk/sport/cricket/darren-stevens-kent-county-championship-age-946503

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42 minutes ago, RowlattsFox said:

We'll be to blame when James Vince is batting for England this summer.

 

Bowling attack going to struggle to get a team out once, let alone twice. 

He's a fine batsman but up until now has always been a flat track bully. Tends to get frustrated vs good attacks.

 

Should make hatfuls playing regularly in div 2 though. If he played for us, he'd comfortably be our best batsman.

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24 minutes ago, when_you're_smiling said:

Was Mike better today? 

Good question. I watched most of the morning session and I'm not sure he bowled. 
 

Early on he seemed to be one of the key men on the fielder (ball-dryer!!) but I think he had a sub fielder on for him for a lot of the morning session. Its so hard to tell on the stream because I enjoy the commentary (more Kevan James than Rich Rae) but they rarely tell you much that's going on apart from what you can actually see for yourself. I'm not convinced he got a bowl.

 

Griffiths was poor in his first (only?) spell. Parkinson and Ackermann looked to take some punish late on when they were already really going after us.

 

Mike was poor yesterday; but he is one I'd keep the faith with for now. I just think he offers more with bat, ball and in the field than GG. 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, UpTheLeagueFox said:

Hants
612/5 declared - at 5 runs per over!

This no divisions think is going to be horrific isn't it.

 

As much as it hurts to say, there absolutely must be a minor counties side better than us? Or at least a county that has deserved the opportunity in the last 5 or 6 years to replace us and try to build something. 

 

As much as we'd be the first to go if they introduced relegation in the future, you have to feel it might make things more competitive and actually make some counties towards the bottom up their game a bit. 

 

Like what motivation is there for our players in a normal CC season? They know they won't be near the top, and they know there's no punishment for finishing last. 

 

There's an entire section of the country (EAST, i'm not counting Northants in that bunch) that doesn't have a single professional county which just seems odd to me.

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28 minutes ago, The People's Hero said:

Good question. I watched most of the morning session and I'm not sure he bowled. 
 

Early on he seemed to be one of the key men on the fielder (ball-dryer!!) but I think he had a sub fielder on for him for a lot of the morning session. Its so hard to tell on the stream because I enjoy the commentary (more Kevan James than Rich Rae) but they rarely tell you much that's going on apart from what you can actually see for yourself. I'm not convinced he got a bowl.

 

Griffiths was poor in his first (only?) spell. Parkinson and Ackermann looked to take some punish late on when they were already really going after us.

 

Mike was poor yesterday; but he is one I'd keep the faith with for now. I just think he offers more with bat, ball and in the field than GG. 

 

 

Yeah, looking at the scorecard I think you’re right and he didn’t bowl.

 

I thought Griffiths had started to show a bit of promise last season but Mike surely is the one with more potential.

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No surprises from the batting.

 

Dearden did ok but didn't hang about to push on.

 

Ackermann and Swindells looking reasonably assured at least. Be great to see Swindells get a big score, might need him further up the order!

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4 hours ago, AjcW said:

This no divisions think is going to be horrific isn't it.

 

As much as it hurts to say, there absolutely must be a minor counties side better than us? Or at least a county that has deserved the opportunity in the last 5 or 6 years to replace us and try to build something. 

 

As much as we'd be the first to go if they introduced relegation in the future, you have to feel it might make things more competitive and actually make some counties towards the bottom up their game a bit. 

 

Like what motivation is there for our players in a normal CC season? They know they won't be near the top, and they know there's no punishment for finishing last. 

 

There's an entire section of the country (EAST, i'm not counting Northants in that bunch) that doesn't have a single professional county which just seems odd to me.

Was saying exactly the same to my youngest son earlier. It pains me to say it but I really don't think a minor counties side would have done any worse than we have over the past 2 days. The gulf between the teams is simply huge.

 

Unless we get some serious investment from somewhere, it's hard to see how things will change, though. I'm resigned to another miserable red ball season to be honest. Let's hope we can at least be competitive in white ball stuff again.

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12 hours ago, everton carr said:

Would have thought Steel or Patel would be better then Lewis Hill ffs

Yep. Muddled thinking that two wicket keepers? Fair white ball bat but bizzare selection. 

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A few showers and a lot of digging in tomorrow followed by dropping anchor on Sunday.

 

What could go wrong ?
 

We need a decent seamer and not having to play Parkinson because he’s vice captain. April and a flat wicket hardly gives him a chance does it...

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8 hours ago, HaroldBazBo said:

A few showers and a lot of digging in tomorrow followed by dropping anchor on Sunday.

 

What could go wrong ?
 

We need a decent seamer and not having to play Parkinson because he’s vice captain. April and a flat wicket hardly gives him a chance does it...

Definitely some odd selection choices.

 

Hill over Patel or Steel.

 

Parkinson vice captain so forced into the side when conditions are at their worst for him to actually bowl in.

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4 minutes ago, CrawlingFox said:

Definitely some odd selection choices.

 

Hill over Patel or Steel.

 

Parkinson vice captain so forced into the side when conditions are at their worst for him to actually bowl in.

Agreed; we would have been better off just using Ackermann for the occasional spin requirements.

 

That said; Hampshire did pick Crane.

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16 hours ago, AjcW said:

This no divisions think is going to be horrific isn't it.

 

As much as it hurts to say, there absolutely must be a minor counties side better than us? Or at least a county that has deserved the opportunity in the last 5 or 6 years to replace us and try to build something. 

 

As much as we'd be the first to go if they introduced relegation in the future, you have to feel it might make things more competitive and actually make some counties towards the bottom up their game a bit. 

 

Like what motivation is there for our players in a normal CC season? They know they won't be near the top, and they know there's no punishment for finishing last. 

 

There's an entire section of the country (EAST, i'm not counting Northants in that bunch) that doesn't have a single professional county which just seems odd to me.

Trust me as poor as we are all the Minor Counties sides are ten times worse.Just about every released County cricketer suddenly become a world beater Jigar Naik took around 20 wickets in 2 matches for Dorset a couple of years ago Jac Du Toit averaged over 50 for a number of years are 2 good examples  

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2 hours ago, everton carr said:

Trust me as poor as we are all the Minor Counties sides are ten times worse.Just about every released County cricketer suddenly become a world beater Jigar Naik took around 20 wickets in 2 matches for Dorset a couple of years ago Jac Du Toit averaged over 50 for a number of years are 2 good examples  

Oh yeah I can imagine. But if you introduced promotion these teams would get backing and develop.
 

Most of them are from affluent counties, the fact that we don’t have a “Cambridgeshire” or “Oxfordshire” is nuts isn’t it? 
 

Obviously they’re only really bothered about developing the one day format. But I think if you wanted to freshen up county cricket, expansion/relegation/promotion would be a great start 

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Just now, AjcW said:

Oh yeah I can imagine. But if you introduced promotion these teams would get backing and develop.
 

Most of them are from affluent counties, the fact that we don’t have a “Cambridgeshire” or “Oxfordshire” is nuts isn’t it? 
 

Obviously they’re only really bothered about developing the one day format. But I think if you wanted to freshen up county cricket, expansion/relegation/promotion would be a great start 

Both are represented through University sides; not sure this is actually why; but just a coincidence you picked those two.

 

 

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