Vitality County Championship Match Preview: Derbyshire CCC vs Gloucestershire CCC

Vitality County Championship Match Preview: Derbyshire CCC vs Gloucestershire CCC

Picture courtesy of Youtube, with thanks

Whisper it quietly, scratch that, shout it loudly, the cricket season is back and Gloucestershire are starting their campaign with a trip to Derby and the Incora County Ground to face a Derbyshire side with a new captain and a sprinkling of new signings, brought in to give the side a winning mentality which Mickey Arthur has felt has been lacking from his squad. If you’re looking for winners the Gloucestershire’s major signing this winter has it spades, but that signing isn’t an on field signing, but the appointment of club legend Mark Alleyne as coach. In his playing days there was no better captain at winning trophies and Gloucestershire will be hoping he can sprinkle that magic from the coach’s chair too.

The other major signing Gloucestershire made this winter was that of Camron Bancroft, snaffled from local rivals Somerset. He will add some serious power at the top of the order for the side from Bristol. Derbyshire will be hoping that their new signings with the bat, David Lloyd and Aneurin Donald can do the same. Derbyshire’s overseas signing is a late replacement for the un-internationally retired Mohammed Amir and takes the shape of Blair Tickner, a Kiwi seam bowler with 215 first class wickets at a touch under 35. Derbyshire will be hoping for an improvement on this return to counteract their recent struggles in taking twenty wickets in a match.

Both sides have had limited pre-season warm up action thanks to inclement weather, so will be coming into this a touch undercooked, so don’t expect them all to be hitting their straps straight away. Some rustiness may well be evident and with more inclement weather forecast, if I was a betting man, I’d be putting my proverbial house on a draw.

Key Players

Death, Taxes and Wayne Madsen, the three certainties in life. Madsen enters his 15th season with Derbyshire and in that time he has scored runs, runs and more runs. He has been the backbone of the side, reliable and ever dependable, for numerous captains and coaches. In fact including himself this will be the sixth captain he has played for when he takes to the field under David Lloyd on Friday. If Derbyshire are to progress and challenge this year, then as ever they will need more of the same from Madsen and Lloyd will need his experience both on and off the field.

What really gets batters on the back foot and takes wickets at any level is pace and in Marchant DeLange Gloucestershire have a bowler with genuine pace and wicket taking ability. On what promises to be a damp pitch and outfield, with reduced playing time, anything which increases the chances of taking wickets will be a valuable asset. Delange will be key if Gloucestershire are to force a result this week.

Team News

Derbyshire have a fully fit squad to pick from for the first fixture of the season, Aneurin Donald who scored an impressive 62 against the students earlier in the week may well have played himself into contention to make his red ball Derbyshire debut after a brief loan stint last season for the T20. There is also a chance of a debut for Pat Brown signed from Worcestershire along with Jack Morley who is on loan from Lancashire, Blair Tickner the side’s overseas bowler has arrived and is also inline for a debut, dependent on whether he has acclimatised. The one definite red ball debut will be for David Lloyd who captains the side. Expect a good portion of the side to be made up from established players though, such as Reece, Came, Madsen, Guest, Conners, Chappell, Dal and Thompson however.

Derbyshire squad: TBA

With so little pre season warm up for Gloucestershire it is difficult to predict the squad. Expect Bancroft to make his debut at the top of the order and James Bracey to look to reignite his career after his brief flirtation with international cricket, appeared to have a negative impact on his form since returning to Gloucestershire from the England fold. Last season Gloucestershire’s season was impacted heavily by injuries and they will hoping that after a winter to recover they will be picking from a fully fit squad.

Gloucestershire squad: TBA

Weather and Conditions

If you’re heading to Derby this week then pack your coat, in fact pack your sou’wester and galoshes too. With rain forecast for most of the game, it is hard to see a positive result without one being set up by the captains, or batting collapses a plenty. The only other game played at the Incora County Ground this year was a rain affected draw against Leeds/Bradford UCCE played on a hybrid pitch which offered little for either bowling unit. Both sides will be hoping for a little more assistance for the bowlers.

Date: 5th April – 8th April
Time: 11.00 am

Ground: Incora County Ground, Derby


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