Monday, April 27, 2009

Spearman and Franklin fit for Northants

Northants (a)
Northampton, LVCC, 11:00

Gloucestershire will go into Tuesday championship match at Northampton firmly believing they are capable of playing the cricket required to win four-day matches.

Several players have found early-season form and it will be a case of bringing an all-round game together to produce a first victory for two years.

In the games against Surrey and Essex the bowling attack - minus James Franklin for the best part of the second match - has threatened as a unit. So much so, as their is uncertainty over who should take the new ball. Jon Lewis' natural swing is an obvious choice but whether to partner him with the pace and aggresion of Steve Kirby, or the variation of Franklin's left-armers.

Somewhere between Alex Gidman and Franklin is an excellent all-rounder. Franklin has performed in his cricket so far, however, to fulfil his all-rounder mould, we need to see him produce runs at number six and be able to marshall the tail. It has been Lewis that has provided lower-order resistance thus far, but hopefully the New Zealander will find his range.

Gidman has been steadily accumulating runs and successfully backing up the bowling attack with his seamers. He needs to kick on and make a big score in this match to affirm his credentials as the club's premier batsman.

One of the batters needs to take their innings further and cash in. We have seen 60's and 70's so far, but that is only half the job for the top order. If 400 plus is going to be a regular first-innings achievement then we need to be seeing our specialist batsman scoring heavily.

Will Porterfield - on the back of his impressive season debut on Sunday - has been included in the 12-man squad.

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