Thursday, 24 April 2014

Gidman for England!

Oh Jesus! We know things are pretty bleak and confused in the England set-up but lets hope they aren't paying too much attention to Gloucestershire skipper Michael Klinger who has put forward Will Gidman for a test call up!

In a recent post the Jessop Tavern View marvelled at Gidman's consistency at taking wickets in division 2 having not looked like a cricketer of any real note whilst at Durham (admittedly he never really got a look-in at Durham) The Jessop tavern mused that Gidman was probably a very good division 2 bowler, but that he would probably be best served in division 2 lest he end up like Gemaal Hussain.

Still its good to see the skipper talking up our only good bowler. presumably Klinger fancies working on his fitness with some long days in the field should Gidman ever be seriously considered by Peter Moores. Since Moore's is a powerpoint fan, the Jessop Tavern is off to whip up a presentation to put forward the virtues of Ed Young as a spin option.

Rain dampens Glos bowlers fire

Gloucestershire (231) drew with Glamorgan (145 and 146 - 9)

Glos 9 points. Glamorgan 8 points.

Gloucestershire rather surprisingly decided to select the same toothless bowling attack that Hampshire had so easily swatted aside the week before and the faith of King John was duly rewarded with a fine effort from the bowling unit. Sadly it was all in vain, as the rain set in and took so much time out of the game that Glos couldn't quite force a richly deserved victory.

Pleasingly, all the bowlers contributed. James Fuller making early breakthroughs and Will Gidman doing what Will Gidman does. The Jessop Tavern continues to be somewhat amazed at the wonderful consistency of the 'other' Gidman brother since he arrived in the Shire. We sort of keep expecting him to be found out as being nothing more than a division two trundler. Fortunately, division two are never likely to. It would be interesting to see how Gidman would get on at a higher level. Would his game have another gear, or would he go Gemaal Hussain? David Payne also responded well to a disappointing opening game of the season and only the weather could deny him a hat trick on day 1.

In the batting department, Will Tavare proved his hundred against Hampshire was no fluke with another handy contribution. Dent and O'Mish also chipped in on a damp pitch hardly conducive to free flowing stroke play. Gloucestershire fans are well versed in watching wiley Glamorgan veteran spinners running through us, and even though Crofty, and his armoury of stop-deliveries and balls delivered from behind the umpire, has now gone Dean Cosker is still plodding away and his 5 for 46 kept Glamorgan in it.

Despite the rain, Glos will be disappointed not to have walked away with the victory. Having reduced Glamorgan to 72 for 9 in their first innings the 73 runs that were added for the final wicket ended up being crucial. Still, onwards and upwards. It was good to see the bowlers respond well to a worrying opening match performance. Next up, the reinvigorated England captain and former Gloucestershire great, Ravi Bopara.

Friday, 18 April 2014

'England's next spinner' jibes rile Carberry into action

Hampshire (422 & 215-2) beat Gloucestershire (304 & 322) by eight wickets
Points: Hampshire 24, Gloucestershire 6

The Jessop Tavern View is not accustomed to having much influence on player performance. Even at the lowly level of LVCC Division 2, our pleas for increased concentration and application frequently go ignored by the Gloucestershire squad. This phenomenon appears not to apply to members of the opposition, though. In an earlier post, we suggested that Michael Carberry's best chance of an England appearance this season may be as the recently-retired Graeme Swann's spin replacement. These harsh words appear to have stung Carbs into action, as he struck an unbeaten hundred on Day 4, to guide Hampshire to an easy 8 wicket victory at Bristol.

It's hard to be too critical of a Glos performance which saw the boys score over 300 in both innings, not something we achieved on a regular basis in season's past. However, we did lose wickets in clusters on both Days 1 & 2, which contributed to our downfall against a powerful batting lineup. The bowlers tried hard, but ultimately looked pretty popgun on a flat deck, and a blunt analysis would suggest that we will struggle to take wickets against the better batsmen in the division. There were a few positives however, not least the excellent hundred from Will 'more shots than his uncle' Tavare and 19 year old Matt Taylor. Taylor took 6 wickets and certainly looked a better left arm option than David Payne, who seems to have plateaued with the ball and looked more like a batsman who bowls on the evidence of this match.

It's a bloody good job that Taylor performed with the ball too, as the other seam bowlers were disappointing, particularly James Fuller, who leaked runs with gay abandon in both Hampshire innings. The lack of a viable spin option should come as no surprise to Glos fans, who have witnessed numerous comedians attempting to hold down an end of the last few years. Let's hope that Tom Smith isn't too scarred from the tremendous amount of tap he took in this game, especially in the second innings, where an admittedly 'in the mood' James Vince really went to town on his bowling.

Anyway, this was only the first game of a long season and as captain Klinger stated on the official site, we need to learn some lessons from the defeat, not least avoiding losing momentum by losing wickets in clusters and consistently bowling a load of four balls to help ease batsmen into their innings.

Up next, fellow lower mid-table candidates Glamorgan, who we face at Sophia Gardens on Sunday. Could be an interesting contest, especially as the ever-fragile Ian Saxelby is in the 12 and can hopefully provide a greater cutting edge with the ball alongside Gidman Jr, Taylor and one of Payne or Fuller.

Video highlights from Day 4:

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Glos in with a fighting chance after David Payne batting masterclass

Day 3: Gloucestershire 304 and 308 for 9 v Hampshire 422.

Gloucestershire will begin day 4 against Hampshire with a glimmer of hope of victory thanks to a gritty 84 not out from Hamish O'Marshall and some late order biffing by James Fuller and David Payne.

Earlier in the afternoon Glos had slumped to 216 for 8, but a partnership of 92 between Marshall and Payne has at least given Gloucestershire's boundary board bowlers a fighting chance.

Marshall in particular showed real application in his 193 ball vigil as he managed to occupy the crease whilst watching wickets tumble at the other end. The decision to field only 5 batsmen always leaves you vulnerable to collapses and when Gidders departed for a fluent 72 Glos went from 124 for 3 to 216 for 8. Not quite the 5 wickets for 12 runs of the first innings, and in these terms an over 400% increase in the return for 5 wickets. Still, it's hardly the stuff of champions. David Payne proceed to then show exactly when he was in the side with a superb knock of 44 including two reverse swept boundaries from the part time off spin of Michael Carberry. Having heard the news that Sam Robson had made a hundred for Middlesex we presume Carberry is now eyeing up the vacant spinners role as his only chance of ever playing test cricket again.

Earlier in the day Matt Taylor took his first first class 5 wicket haul and finished with excellent figures of 5 for 75. Hopefully the start of more to come from the promising young left armer.

Can Glos win it from here? Well, stranger things have happened but you suspect that this bowling attack doesn't have what it takes. We'll be happy to be proved wrong. But then we'd also be happy if James Fuller manages to go for less than a run a ball. The Jessop Tavern is easily pleased.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Glos crumble under Vince's onslaught….and before it

"This is how it feels to be Gloucestershire.
This is how it feels to be small.
This is how it feels when your team wins nothing at all"

Working in an office where radio 2 is the only approved radio station means that the Jessop Tavern is awash in a bit of britpop at the moment and, whilst the Inspiral Carpets aren't strictly a britpop band, the sentiment for Gloucestershire fans is true enough after a very disappointing second day of the season.

When the Jessop Tavern wrote yesterday about 400 we naturally now apologise for the typo. Poised on 292 for 5 overnight the Jessop Tavern of course meant that the boys would be looking to scrape their way to 300. Losing 5 wickets for 12 runs to hand the incentive to Hampshire was bad enough. To then manage to concede 400 in a days play is inexcusable.

We can't think of any other sport where by your team can go from looking so good to so utterly bad in the space of a day, and within the same match, as county cricket. It's wonderfully unpredictable, even if it means sitting on the edge of your seat wondering when your team's next bout of crapness is coming along. As all sports fans know, you have to take the rough with the smooth. As every Gloucestershire fan knows, you have to take the bad with the very bad. It's going to be a long summer.

Already in this match we have seen plenty of promise from youngsters like Will Tavare, and we know that the youngsters at the bottom of the order will have learnt a tremendous amount about contributing important runs. These same bowlers will also have learnt a lot about the correct lines and lengths to bowl at quality batsmen at this level. It is still a learn experience for these youngsters…..

Sorry. We thought we writing for the official site for a moment.

Yes, some of this team are still young but James Fuller has been in the first team for enough seasons now to not be going for over 6 an over. Captain Klinger bemoaned the lack of bowling as a unit. Where as Will Gidman and youngster Matt Taylor returned respectable figures of 4-66 and 4-75 respectively, the rest of the attack was bobbins. James Vince is a very talented young batsman who is finally looking like a real cricketer as opposed to a blaster, but he can't have scored many easier hundreds. 

To add to the disappointment, Glos actually did have Hampshire at 216 for 6 in the afternoon. The boys will now need to bat very well second time around to give this bowling attack anything to go at in the fourth innings.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Tavare shows the old timers how it's done

Day 1: Glos 292 - 5 v Hampshire

Gloucestershire's batsmen batted like it was 2013 as they made there merry way towards a late first innings collapse by posting an encouraging 292 for 5 on day 1 of their 2014 campaign.

On his championship debut, Will Tavare made all the headlines by ending the day 135 not out. His knock was even more impressive as he helped steady Gloucestershires ship at several points throughout the day, something he'll no doubt become accustomed to doing throughout the season. Chris Dent departed early but Tavare and Klinger put on 163 for the second wicket to make sure Glos got a foothold in the match. With Tavare then nearing his hundred, Klinger departed and the old experienced heads of Gidders and O'Mish headed to the middle one-by-one to calm young Will's nerves and help him to his debut ton. 10 minutes later and both Gidders and O'Mish clearly felt they had imparted all of their wisdom and so off they trotted without bothering to add any runs to the scoreboard. Clearly something that O'Mish said must have struck home as soon afterwards Tavare was down the picture and smashing Liam Dawson for 6 to bring up his ton. O'Mish was seen on the balcony applauding ruefully at the thought that Tavare had disobeyed his instruction to have a swing and get yourself out cheaply when you are well set.

Will Gidman then helped Tavare add another 103 for the fifth wicket before he fell just before the close of play. It will now be left to Tavare, Cameron Herring and the bowlers to get the score up to 400.

The day had begun with the surprise inclusion of 19 year old Matt Taylor as the fourth seamer. Ian saxelby had been mooted for a potential return, but apparently he pulled something in the shower in the morning. Taylor's selection actually was down to the pitch conditions. Taylor has been mentioned as the new Mike Smith, and whilst we enjoy having the option of a left arm seamer we do wonder whether anyone knew that David Payne had also been selected?! Alternatively maybe Gloucestershire are going to issue in a new, Mitchell Johnson inspired era where-by every county goes desperately searching for a left arm quickie. Who knows!

Highlights of Tavare's maiden ton:


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

2014 Season Preview: Same same but different?

Here we go, another year and, despite England's monumentally herculean attempts to suck all love out of cricket supporters in this country, the start of the county championship almost seems like welcome respite from the rather unprecedented fall from grace the national team has suffered in the past 6 months.

Gloucestershire appear to have approached the 2014 season with very much a, 'if it ain't fixed, don't….' Oh, hold on. That's not quite right.

The off season has seen has seen Glos manage to successfully add absolutely no new faces to a squad that performed manfully last year without really threatening to look like promotion candidates in the championship or trophy winners in white ball cricket. The familiar lines about young players coming good this year has been heard once more emanating from Nevil Road (behind the sound of the builders)

Gloucestershire fans are now very familiar with this line. We invest nothing in the playing squad, enabling money to be ploughed into the ground redevelopment which will enable us to host the occasional one day international against Zimbabwe or, heaven forbid the Netherlands!

Still, let's not grumble too much. The Jessop Tavern actually supports the idea of investing time in blooding young cricketers and we would certainly much rather watch David Payne be rubbish than Jon Batty. Oh hold on, we did have to watch Jon Batty. It is an admirable approach to building a sustainable cricket club in the modern era, even if the results haven't quite been there.

The squad does have potential. Last year the bowling department really struggled to back up a batting unit that contained 4 men who passed 1,000 runs in the championship. Will Gidman once again led the way with 50 wickets, and whilst Craig Miles burned brightly at the start of the season, he faded in the second half due to a combination of being over bowled and being worked out by batsmen. It will be interesting to see whether Miles continues his progression this season, or if he falls back amongst the Liam Norwells of this world. Speaking of Norwell, both he and David Payne now really need to step up. It has been a few years now since they both emerged, excitingly into the first team. Both have plateaued since and require reviving.

Both Miles Hammond and Graeme McCarter will push them for first team cricket and at least one of these four really needs to have a breakthrough season if Gloucestershire are going to consistently take 20 wickets. Then there is Ian Saxelby. The Sax should be back after injury ruined his 2013 season. Whether he can return to top form will also play a big part in Gloucestershire's season.

In the spin department,…..ah, forget it. Lets not even bother going there. Tom Smith has been retained to hold up an end and Jack Taylor has put his dart board away and learnt how to bowl properly, well at least that's what the ECB say!

The batting, and this is hard for the Jessop Tavern to say, is the strength of the squad. 1,000 runs for captain Klinger, Gidders, O'Mish and Dent should be repeated again this year. Dent in particular needs to back-up finally breaking through as a batsman of real substance in 2013. Benny, the House and Gareth Roderick provide able backup. In Division 2 there is no excuse for this lot not to fill their boots again. This being Glos though we fully expect to watch Klinger wilt under the pressure of setting fields to too many four-ball bowlers, Gidders to score meaningless hundreds late in the season after failing to assert himself at the start of the campaign and for O'Mish to revert back to scoring lots of pretty 30s.

So what can we expect trophy wise!? Last season the t20 was a shambles and it is difficult to see it being any different. The lack of experience or variety in the bowling attack and a lack of firepower in the batting means that it is hard to picture Glos doing much better this season. Still, at least we won't have to watch Dan Christian this year. The return of 50 over cricket is probably the best chance of really challenging for silverware and, if everyone can stay fit, then a promotion challenge is a distinct possibility.

On a final note, it will be interesting to see who else gets blooded from the academy. It is all well and good to invest nothing in the squad and place your faith in an academy system, as we have already said this is a highly commendable way to run a cricket club. However, such sustainability relies on having a convey belt of talent coming from the academy. Who the next young thing will be is perhaps the most exciting thing Gloucestershire fans have to look forward to.