Derbyshire make their way to the Welsh seaside this week, but haven’t packed their bucket and spade, they’ve packed their whites, bats and pads. They will be hoping they’ve the memory of last time out has faded – when they snatched defeat from the jaws of first victory following a wayward bowling display in the second innings, having bowled out Durham for 96 in the first.
Glamorgan have also made the trip from their usual base in Cardiff to the Swansea seaside, hoping to leave behind them the baggage of the last three outings in this competition where they have only defeat nestled in their suitcase.
Captain Michael Hogan may feel like a parent taking his young family on holiday, as a number of his fellow experienced pros are absent and he will be leading a young side lacking experience. He will be hoping they can put in performances that warrant them an ice cream, and £1 for the 2p machines.
With the lack of experience in the squad it is easy to see why Derbyshire are favourites for this match, and the table would also point to Derbyshire being the superior side, as they sit three places and eleven points above Glamorgan in the Division Two table. I predict that Derbyshire will back this up and emerge from their beach side adventure victorious, travel back to the Midlands with the spoils and, if they play their cards right, a victory lap on the donkeys secured.
Glamorgan are short of experience in their seam bowling attack. Thankfully, in their captain they have that experience in the shape of Michael Hogan. The Australian seamer is leading the bowling averages in the championship this year, having taken 18 wickets at 17.11, and without other experienced bowlers they will be leaning on him more than ever. The other three bowlers in the squad, that have bowled so far this season, have taken only eight more wickets between them than Hogan. If Hogan can continue his fine form then Glamorgan’s chances will greatly improve.
Derbyshire have been looking for a strong opening batsman for a while now and, as Ben Slatercomes of age, they appear to have one. He is leading the way in run scoring and in averages in the championship this season, so far with 439 runs at 48.78. He is yet to score a century, however, though falling agonisingly close for 99 against Middlesex and will be looking forward to rectifying that fact in Swansea this week. Slater is also vital in the field, often fielding in the ring and keeping the opposition batsmen tied down, supporting the side’s bowlers and his captain Godleman.
Glamorgan have named a 12 man squad for the visit of Derbyshire, but it is a 12 man squad shorn of many experienced names. There is no Wagg, Van der Gugten, De Lange or Donald. There is, however, a lot of young talent at the disposal of captain Hogan. Prem Sisodiya is in line to make his debut, and the left arm spinner has been taking wickets and scoring runs aplenty in the second XI. The home side will be looking to him and senior spinner Salter for wickets if the pitch is dry, while the main seam bowling threat will be carried by Hogan.
Glamorgan squad: M Hogan (C), L Carey, K Carlson, C Cooke (wk), U Khawaja, J Lawlor, D Lloyd, O Morgan, J Murphy, A Salter, N Selman, P Sisodiya
Derbyshire will be taking 14 players to south Wales, with a few questions to be answered in their selection. One question will be who will be wearing the wicket keeping gloves, Wilson or Hosein? I would imagine Wilson will take the gauntlets and, if Hosein plays, it will be as a specialist batsman. Whether he plays or not will depend on a battle between him and Callum Broderick for the final batting spot. One of the two will miss out along with two of either Qadri, Palladino and Gleadall. If the pitch looks dry, then Qadri will play, and Gleadall and Palladino will battle it out for the last spot. If not the Qadri will sit it out with one other.
Derbyshire squad: B Godleman (c), C Brodrick, M Critchley, A Gleadall, H Hosein (wk), A Hughes, W Madsen, D Olivier, T Palladino, H Qadri, R Rampaul, B Slater, H Viljoen, G Wilson (wk)
Glamorgan : LLLDW
Weather and conditions
There my be a bit of rain around on the morning of the first day, but it should clear by 9am, so the ground staff may have a battle to get the pitch ready for the scheduled start time of 11am. However, once this has passed the weather looks set fair for the remainder of the game. With it being the first time Glamorgan have travelled to Swansea this year, we do not know how the pitch will play but fingers crossed for a pitch that offers an even contest between bat and ball.
Date: 20thJune 2018 to 23rdJune 2018
Ground: St Helens, Swansea
Odds (SkyBet): Glamorgan 6/5 Derbyshire 4/6