Monday, 16 September 2013

Another must win awaits at Edgbaston

Any sane person would say that Surrey’s Division One status is gone now, but I am still holding onto the slim hope that if we can somehow collect two big victories in our final two games we can stay up.

In all seriousness, I do agree with the majority that it does look very unlikely, but let’s not give the players an easy way out. They have put us in this position, not down to lack of quality in most cases, but down to periods of brainless cricket, lapses in concentration and failure to take control of opportunities that arise. It is their responsibility to put in their upmost to pull us out of the desperate position we find ourselves in, right until we our officially relegated to the second tier.

The first of the two sides we must beat is current champions Warwickshire at their home ground of Edgbaston and the same 14 man squad which was named for Taunton last week has been named today.

Here is the squad and predicted line up:

Rory Burns
Dom Sibley
Hashim Amla
Vikram Solanki
Zander de Bruyn
Steve Davies (WK)
Gary Wilson
Gareth Batty (C)
Tim Linley
Chris Tremlett
Jade Dernbach

Zafar Ansari
Stuart Meaker
Gary Keedy

That might be what I think the team will be, but isn’t exactly what I would go with. The top 3 would be same, despite either of them scoring a big score at the start of an innings of late. I’ve spoken so much about Zander de Bruyn over the season that I think I will be wasting my breath banging on about him again, because you know my opinion on him. I would go with Solanki 5, Wilson 6, Davies 7. Some would say that 7 is too low for Davies, but he has struggled for runs in this format for a good few months now and is far too inconsistent at the current time to be in the top 5 or 6.

Some of you may have noticed I have missed out number 4 and I would give that role to Zafar Ansari. You can argue that he hasn’t posted any score of note at all this season, so why does he deserve a place in the top 4 of our championship side? Well, whenever he has come in at number 7 we have always been in some sort of crisis. He then turns into ultra-block mode, doesn’t try to score runs and then gets out when batting with the tail. There has been lots of talk about Zafar on how much potential he has, with Chris Adams saying he will be captain of Surrey one day, but he is yet to make a big contribution, like a century or taking a 5 wicket haul. There is undoubted talent there but we are yet to really see it in the 4 day game apart from a couple of innings opening last season, so he should be given the chance up the order to prove to the fans what he can do.

When it comes to the makeup of the rest of the side, I would consider dropping Batty as he doesn’t offer much apart from captaincy at the moment, being very reluctant to bowl himself at Taunton last week. If he didn’t play however, that would leave our tail very long with Meaker at 8, even if he did find some form with the bat last week, but even he has been understandably rusty in the games that he has been back.

Anyway, it’s probably too late to be discussing team selections as the damage has already been done this season. I will always hold hope with Surrey, and we have proved miracles over the last couple of seasons, but I have to admit it looks a far tougher task than 2012. 

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