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Division 2 Championship Preview

March 28, 2011

Predictions for Division 1. Division 2 is trickier, I think. One or two players having a stellar season can make all the difference. But, here goes:

Kent. Very poor seasons from Key and Jones meant that the runs that normally keep Kent in mid-table weren’t there. Along with Van Jaarsveld they should get plenty in division 2. A breakout season from Sam Northeast would help too. The bowling is poor and they are utterly broke but the batting should keep them going. 2nd

Essex: Owais Shah is the big signing. He had a poor season last year, but is usually at his best with something to prove. Ten Doeschate is the other star quality in the team. Bopara and Cook’s availability may not be required, but they are both likely to get some action. Foster will score runs again back in Division 2, and the bowling is fine at that level too. 1st

Glamorgan: A winter spent in-fighting with Dalrymple and Tom Maynard departing was not what the club needed. Mark Cosgrove averaged 50 last season, but he’s only playing T20 this one, with Alviro Petersen in as captain. Petersen looked average against India this winter, and has no experience here. I’m sceptical. On the positive side, Wagg is a very strong addition and Allenby means we have a lot of depth. If James Harris continues to develop then Glamorgan will have their first strong seam attack for years. In the batting, Maynard was promising and Dalrymple offered experience, but both also averaged sub-30 last season. Stewart Walters should be able to match that. Intangibles may be what drag us down to 6th

Leicestershire: Another club riven by in-fighting and without a pot to piss in. But Andrew McDonald is a great choice as overseas player, James Taylor will get one more season of run-scoring before he gets in the England team, moves to Notts or both, Nathan Buck should do well too. Greg Smith will once again miss much of the season while at university, which is a shame after he topped the batting averages last season. Nixon, Hoggard and Henderson provide the solidity. 3rd

Gloucestershire: Already weak batting will lose more with Porterfield moving to Warwickshire. Marshall and Franklin can’t do it on their own. Hussain, Kirby and Ireland’s 130+ wickets have gone too. In come a bunch of kids. They won’t win owt with that. Jon Lewis will need to roll back the years. 8th

Northamptonshire: A side that may have just made the step from experienced to ageing. Not enough quality to compete for promotion in a season where the quality looks higher than last. 7th

Surrey: If Tremlett is available regularly, the him, Arafat and Dernbach should take a lot of wickets. Suspect he may not play all that much, though he’ll surely play more than Kevin Pietersen. Beyond that, the bowling is anaemic. The batting is OK if Ramprakash continues to score runs. If, at 41, his productivity dips then they have problems. 4th

Middlesex: Some very good recruitment. Rogers, Collymore and Ireland should all improve the team. Could really do with Finn and Morgan not making the England test team though, as there isn’t much depth. 5th

Derbyshire: Khawaja and Guptill should replace Chris Rogers’ runs but Peterson and Wagg’s allr-round contribution will be difficult to cover. A few new arrivals, but they mostly seem more journeymen in a team already packed with them. 9th

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2011 9:51 am

    I tend to agree with you on the Gloucestershire front- we’re going to be rubbish. Luckily Derbyshire are still around! However, James Franklin won’t be scoring any runs OR taking any wickets (46 last year) because he’s been replaced as our overseas player by Kane Williamson. so, the batting may be bolstered, but we lose yet more cutting edge on the bowling side.

    • April 8, 2011 10:28 am

      Yes, there didn’t seem to be a comprehensive update of the close season moves, so I missed that Franklin was going too.

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