2013 County Cricket Preview - Part Two
Captain: Jim Troughton
Overseas player: Jeetan Patel
In: Freddie Coleman, Sam Hain (both youth), Oliver Hannon-Dalby (Yorkshire)
Out: Andy Miller (released), Richard Johnson (Derbyshire), Neil Carter (retired)
Warwickshire’s success in 2012 was down, in large part, to their bowlers. Surely they can’t enjoy the same level of success again, can they? Oliver Hannon-Dalby is the latest who is hoping to benefit from the expertise of bowling coach Graeme Welch, and he may be needed if England come calling for the likes of Chris Wright, Boyd Rankin and Chris Woakes. Of the batting, big things are expected from Laurie Evans, who will be hopeful of a place in the starting eleven following another good season in 2012 for the second XI.
Predictions - CCD1: 3rd (Winners of Div One), YB40: Group stage (Runners-up)
Main man: There are plenty to choose from in a side that are reigning champions. If anything, it was the batting that was a disappointment last year, with the likes of Darren Maddy, William Porterfield and Jim Troughton enduring difficult summers. They will need to find better form in 2013 if they aren’t to put too much pressure on their bowlers.
Young player to watch: Laurie Evans perhaps doesn’t classify as a young player at the age of 25, but he is relatively inexperienced in first-team cricket, having made just 14 first-class appearances. A prolific second XI player, in 2013 he is expected to slot straight into Warwickshire’s Championship side at the expense of Maddy in the middle-order.
Batsmen: Ian Westwood (LHB/OB), Will Porterfield (LHB/OB), Varun Chopra (RHB/OB), Jim Troughton (LHB/SLA), Ateeq Javid (RHB/RM), Laurie Evans (RHB/RM), Darren Maddy (RHB/RM), Ian Bell (RHB/RM), Sam Hain (RHB/OB), Freddie Coleman (RHB), Jonathan Trott (RHB/RM).
All-Rounders: Tom Allin (RHB/RMF), Paul Best (LHB/SLA), Rikki Clarke (RHB/RFM), Chris Woakes (RHB/RMF).
Wicket-keeper: Tim Ambrose (RHB).
Bowlers: Boyd Rankin (LHB/RFM), Oliver Hannon-Dalby (LHB/RMF), Keith Barker (LHB/LM), Ricardo Gordon (RHB/RFM), Chris Wright (RHB/RFM), Tom Milnes (RHB/RFM), Steffan Piolet (RHB/RM), Jeetan Patel (RHB/OB), Chris Metters (RHB/SLA).
Captain: Daryl Mitchell
Overseas player: Thilan Samaraweera
In: Thilan Samaraweera (overseas), Ed Barnard (youth), Graeme Cessford (army), Michael Johnson (Western Australia)
Out: Vikram Solanki (Surrey), James Cameron, Ben Scott (both retired), Phil Hughes (overseas), Michael Klinger (Gloucestershire)
Worcestershire had an atrocious 2012 in all competitions. They have bolstered a weak batting line-up with the signing of Thilan Samaraweera, but the acquisition of little-known Australian gloveman Michael Johnson hints at desperation unless they know something the rest of us don’t. The bowling last year was carried by Alan Richardson, who will again have to shoulder the burden in 2013. If he can’t then things could prove embarrassing unless Richard Jones and Chris Russell have a good year.
Predictions - CCD2: 7th (9th in Div One), YB40: Group stage (7th in Group A)
Main man: Alan Richardson doesn’t get any younger but, like Glen Chapple at Lancashire, continues to take wickets with astonishing regularity. He will need to again in 2013 as the rest of the Worcestershire attack is unproven at this level. Last season, he took 57 first-class wickets at an average of 19.53 yet Worcestershire still picked up the Division One wooden spoon.
Young player to watch: Aneesh Kapil is an all-rounder who is highly thought of but has not yet established a regular first-team place. He has the potential to bat in the middle-order and be a first change seamer but is still early on in his career. Could 2013 be his breakthrough season now he is playing in Division Two?
Batsmen: Matthew Pardoe (LHB/LM), Neil Pinner (RHB/OB), Thilan Samaraweera (RHB/OB), Moeen Ali (LHB/OB), Alexei Kervezee (RHB/RM), Daryl Mitchell (RHB/RM).
All-Rounders: Ed Barnard (RHB/RFM), Gareth Andrew (LHB/RFM), Brett D’Oliveira (RHB/LB), Aneesh Kapil (RHB/RFM), Joe Leach (RHB/RM).
Wicket-keepers: Michael Johnson (RHB), Ben Cox (RHB).
Bowlers: Chris Russell (RHB/RMF), Graeme Cessford, Richard Jones (RHB/RMF), Jack Shantry (LHB/LM), Nick Harrison (RHB/RM), Alan Richardson (RHB/RMF), David Lucas (RHB/LFM), Shaaiq Choudhry (RHB/SLA).
Captain: Andrew Gale
Overseas player: None
In: Jack Brooks (Northamptonshire), Liam Plunkett (Durham), Andrew Hodd (Sussex)
Out: Gerard Brophy, Anthony McGrath (both retired), Ajmal Shahzad (Nottinghamshire), Oliver Hannon-Dalby (Warwickshire), David Miller, Mitchell Starc (both overseas)
Yorkshire president Geoff Boycott was determined that the club would have a shot at the title in their 150th year and they will do so after gaining promotion in 2012. However, they will not start as favourites for the Division One crown and are likely to miss Joe Root from their 2012 batting line-up. They have boosted the bowling by signing Jack Brooks and Liam Plunkett to support Ryan Sidebottom and co and that is a real strength. If a couple of batsmen have good seasons then a shot at the title is possible, but mid-table is more realistic.
Predictions - CCD1: 6th (2nd in Div Two), YB40: Group stage (5th in Group C)
Main men: Joe Root’s expected absence undoubtedly weakens the batting, meaning that the likes of Phil Jaques and Gary Ballance will need to at least match their hauls form 2013. Skipper Andrew Gale is one who has room for improvement with the bat after averaging barely 30 in 2012.
Young player to watch: Moin Ashraf is still only 21, with last season having been his breakthrough one. He performed admirably in both limited-overs an first-class cricket and now needs to avoid the dreaded second season syndrome, as well as showing that he can do the business in Division One.
Batsmen: Adam Lyth (LHB/RM), Joe Root (RHB/OB), Andrew Gale (LHB/LB), Gary Ballance (LHB), Callum Geldart (LHB/RM), Alex Lees (LHB/LB), Phil Jaques (LHB), Joe Sayers (LHB/OB).
All-Rounders: Alex Lilley (RHB/LM), Adil Rashid (RHB/LB).
Wicket-keepers: Dan Hodgson (RHB), Eddie Wilson (LHB), Andrew Hodd (RHB).
Bowlers: Iain Wardlaw (RHB/RFM), Jack Brooks (RHB/RFM), Liam Plunkett (RHB/RFM), Moin Ashraf (RHB/RFM), Ryan Sidebottom (LHB/LFM), James Wainman (RHB/LM), Steven Patterson (RHB/RMF), Azeem Rafiq (RHB/OB), Gurman Randhawa (LHB/SLA).