Yorkshire will be hoping the visit of Derbyshire to Headingley will see them get back on track in the Royal London One Day Cup campaign, after they lost their 100% record last time out against Worcestershire (on Friday) to them drop to second in the table, behind their conquerors. They have performed excellently in the competition this season and despite a much changed squad due to international duty, will be hoping to continue their impressive form.
Derbyshire arrive in Leeds with a perfectly symmetrical record having played one, lost one and had one match lost to the weather, which leaves them in sixth place in the table with a game in hand over all those sides above them. They have been batting well, scoring over 300 in each of their two completed innings, it has been the bowling which requires improvement, they will be hoping the first signing of summer recruit Hardus Viljoen will do that.
Both sides will be desperate for a win to propel them up the table and increase their chances of finishing in the top three. Derbyshire could not ask for a better time to play Yorkshire with an England One Day International on the same day, meaning they are missing five players and have to name a much more inexperienced squad than the ones which won the opening three games of the competition. It will however give young players a chance to show supporters what they can do with white ball in hand, especially Ben Coad who has been lighting up the Specsavers County Championship in the early season.
Understandably Yorkshire start as favourites with the bookies and are very short odds to pickup the victory, however with Yorkshire having to overcome the loss of five such quality players and Derbyshire’s batting in recent games, I would be very tempted to wager a few pounds on a Derbyshire victory at Headingley today.
With Yorkshire missing five international players they will need experienced players in the side and you don’t get much more experienced than Tim Bresnan. Bresnan has had a renaissance since England appeared to lose his phone number. His bowling shows guile and intellect, while his batting shows a wonderful belligerence and determination. Batting as high as six he adds real balance to this Yorkshire side, and Bresnan’s success against Derbyshire will be key to Yorkshire’s success too.
For Derbyshire to overcome Yorkshire, all eleven will have to perform well. However for Derbyshire to win one man above all will be key: Wayne Madsen. A man who could score runs on any surface, against any attack and in any situation, Derbyshire will be hoping that the Yorkshire game is no different. Madsen has also been used lately as a genuine spin bowling option and opened the bowling in the defeat to Nottinghamshire, where he took the wicket of Michael Lumb in his first over. As ever if Madsen has a good day, then Derbyshire generally do and the better the day the more likely a Derbyshire victory will be.
Yorkshire are shawn of five players due to international call ups and will miss Root, Rashid, Bairstow, Willey and Plunkett, however they have still named a strong squad, boasting four full international players, lead by the in-form Gary Balance. With Bairstow missing the wicketkeeping gauntlets will pass to Australian overseas player Peter Handscomb and Azeem Rafiq will be hoping to fill the void left by Adil Rashid in the spin department.
Derbyshire are also missing a player to the international at Lords with Ireland wicketkeeper Gary Wilson being selected, meaning Derbyshire’s gauntlets will be warming the hands of Daryn Smit for the first time this season. The fact that it’s not Harvey Hosein may well raise a few eyebrows amongst Derbyshire fans. What will be pleasing to Derbyshire fans will be a first sighting of Kolpak fast bowling signing Viljoen to spearhead the attack. It is likely to be a straight shoot out between Luis Reece and Charlie MacDonnell as to who misses out, with both offering a bowling option to add to their batting skills, much will depend on conditions as to who does miss out.
Yorkshire squad: Gary Ballance (c), Tim Bresnan, Karl Carver, Ben Coad, Matthew Fisher, Ryan Gibson, Peter Handscomb (wk), Jack Leaning, Alex Lees, Adam Lyth, Steven Patterson, Azeem Rafiq, Will Rhodes, Matthew Waite.
Derbyshire squad: Billy Godleman (c), Ben Cotton, Matt Critchley, Alex Hughes, Charlie MacDonnell, Wayne Madsen, Jeevan Mendis, Luis Reece, Ben Slater, Daryn Smit (wk), Shiv Thakor, Hardus Viljoen
Weather and conditions
The weather looks set fair for the game with no need to take waterproofs, sadly though you can probably leave your suncream at home too, with cloud forecast all day. With little to no sun forecast, the seamers will be hoping for the famous Headingley swing to be evident, those spectating however will be hoping that frost bite doesn’t kick in with temperatures set to stay low.
Date: 7th May 2017
Ground: Headingley Stadium, Leeds
Umpires: Nigel Cowley and David Millns
Odds (SkyBet): Yorkshire 1/2, Derbyshire 13/8