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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Somerset preview

I would like to have a look at the Somerset team. Somerset did reasonably well last year as they finished third in the 2009 county championship. Somerset play their cricket at Taunton and the tracks at Taunton are very much batting friendly . It leads to more draws, though it has to be said that in 2009 they had a good batting line-up. I have read a few times the groundsmen saying that they are looking to make the pitch a bit more bowler friendly, but in reality they have usually been good tracks for batting.






Batting

Somerset this season would be captained by Tres. He has retired from internationals, but Tres has been in top form in CC. He was the highest run-getter last year and batting friendly conditions at Taunton suits his style of batting. I have always found those question marks about his lack of footwork amusing as for a big guy, he plays late and has a good balance. It is another matter altogether that he doesn't play for England now. He is also going to captain the side this time around as Langer isn't there, but make no mistake, Tres would be the player to watch out for as he can take the game away from the opposition ranks in no time.

Somerset would miss the services of Langer. Justin Langer was a fine player for the Somerset side as he consistently scored runs. Somerset looked so much better with Tres and Langer at top of the order as both are world class batsmen. Under his leadership, the team improved as well. The side also has batsmen like Suppiah, Hildreth and Kieswetter. Kieswetter is also the wicketkeeper of the side and to be frank, he isn't a good keeper, but he is no doubt an important member of the side as last year he scored 1242 runs at 59.14. He may play lots of games for England in the shorter formats of the game and if he does, it would be a huge loss for Somerset as they are already without Langer. Suppiah has done well as has Hildreth. Hildreth looks like a decent strokemaker, but can have the habit of showing lazy footwork by leaving a gap between bat and pad. The former Middlesex player Compton is also in the side, but he has a modest record. So, a few of their younger batsmen like Buttler and Lett may get more chances.

All-rounders

Somerset usually have a plethora of all-rounders or one can say bits and pieces cricketers and this time too it is no different. Damien Wright would be their overseas player for the first month. He has been pretty good in the Sheffield Shield over the years for Tasmania and Victoria, but has been injury prone. Peter Trego was ok for them last season as he scored over 600 runs and took a few wickets. He won't be called as a top-class all-rounder, but the hard-hitter can trouble the opposition with quickfire knocks and can bowl medium pace. Z.Bruyn is a journeyman from South Africa, but he too scored over 600 runs last season. From what I have seen of him, he can also use the old ball reasonably well. Ben Phillips and Durston are the other all-rounders in the side, but they have found it tough to get into the side in recent times. Ben Phillips is an experienced campaigner, but he is 30 now and more suited to one-day cricket. Somerset no doubt miss the services of the beefy Blackwell as he has joined Durham.

Bowlers

As expected their bowlers have found it tough to get wickets on batting friendly tracks of Taunton. The left armer Willoughby did reasonably well for them last year and was in fact the only bowler to average under 35. He is a decent left arm swing bowler and can be effective with the new ball. Thomas isn't a strike bowler, but can surprise the batsmen for a bit of pace and can bat a bit too. Somerset also have got the services of Karthik this season. The left arm spinner is a talented bowler, but for some reason hasn't got a permanent place in the Indian team. Having said that, he has done well in CC for Middlesex. He is also a good flat wicket bowler and that is something to consider. Somerset would be looking up-to him to get wickets.

Among other bowlers, Tunrer has a bit pace but has been injury prone. Stiff too is in the side, but from his under 19 days I don't rate him as he can be wayward. The side has a couple of leg spinners in the side, but I don't think they would get many opportunities as I don't see county captains risking young leg spinners on batting friendly tracks. Of course Somerset would miss the services of their ever reliable Caddick. Caddick has been one bowler who was successful at Taunton, but after playing for almost 17 or 18 he has decided to to retire. I also notice that most of their medium-pacers seem to be good at bowling clever changes of pace, though it should come in more handy in one-day cricket.

Somerset did well last year by finishing third, but they may find it difficult to repeat it this year. Yes, Tres is still there, but Langer isn't in the team and Kieswetter too may play some games for England. I still see them being competitive though.

2 comments:

Wes said...

GB I've recommended you for
The 40 Most Exciting Cricket Blogs On the Web

Keep up the good work, I am learning a lot from you. Cheers, Wes

Wes' last blog:

A match I would have loved to watch

greyblazer said...

Thanks, you're learning a lot from me? I may brainwash you regarding KP lol!