Thursday, 6 April 2017
Kent v Gloucestershire - Match preview
Gloucestershire begin their 2017 championship campaign with an awkward away fixture against last seasons second placed team, Kent.
The difference between the two teams can probably be best reflected in the new names that appear in the two squads. Kent name Glos old boy Will Gidman, who returns after his loan spell in 2016, and Middlesex loanee James Harris amongst their bowlers. Gloucestershire on the other hand name 33 year old journeyman Chris Liddle and 20 year old Oliver Currill as their additional bowlers. Glos fans would be forgiven for sharing inquisitive looks at one another. Liddle was brought in as a one day specialist last year, only for him to disappear without a trace. Currill made his first class debut in the pre-season game against Durham Uni.
Gloucestershire will also be without their skipper, Gareth Roderick, who is ill. Colonel Mustard captains the team. Presuming that neither Liddle or Currill are favoured over and above Miles, Norwell, Payne and Taylor, this leaves the batting to pick itself. A top order of Dent, Bancroft, Tavare, Van Buuren, Cockbain with Mustard and Taylor at 7 and 8. Compare that to Kent who have Sam Northeast, Daniel Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly and Glos definitely look the weaker team on paper.
Still, if the Shire have proved anything over the last few years it is that the sum of their parts frequently adds up to more than it should. We'd also take our seam attack on a nice April green top.
All that remains is to wish the boys luck for tomorrow and for the season ahead. We'll try to hold back the moaning until May. We promise. Benny's Twitter tirade last year hurt. We love you Benny.