On the opening day of the 2015 county championship, new Gloucestershire captain Geraint Jones decided to get an early look at exactly what sort of bowling attack he had to work with over the coming months. At the end of the day, he probably had a fair idea.
Craig Miles tore up the Northants batting for career best figures of 6-63, whilst the rest ran in manfully without quite so much penetration. If Miles can stay fit this summer then he will end the season with a bucket load of wickets now that Will Gidman is no longer around. Miles has been a top prospect for the last couple of years, yet injury problems have stopped him being inevitably snaffled by Somerset, meaning Glos fans should get at least one more good year from the young seamer. In order to get out of division 2 it is all about taking 20 wickets and the big question Glos will face this year is whether Miles can stay fit, and whether others can support him and take their share of wickets. Can '38' Fuller take 30 odd wickets? Can Norwell? Maybe Kieran Gourmet-Burger will be that man after taking 3 for 48 on a very handy debut.
It was also encouraging to see another perennial Gloucestershire injury concern, Gareth Roderick, take a club record-equalling 6 catches in an innings whilst not managing to break any fingers! A very encouraging start for another key Glos player this year.
Having reduced Northants to 162 for 6 you would imagine Gloucestershire's new hierarchy would be slightly disappointed at the end of day 1. However, bat well over the next couple of days, and Glos can set themselves up for a solid start to the season. How the new-look Glos batting line-up fares will be interesting to see. Is James Fuller really good enough to bat at 8?
On a side note. The Jessop Tavern View definitely raised a smile at seeing old boy Alex Gidman trapped lbw to Tim Bresnan for not many on his Worcestershire debut. Fans at New Road should get themselves ready for a lot more of watching that leaden front foot planted and the ball cannoning into it!
For video highlights from Day 1, click the link below:
Update- Northants have finally put the Day 1 highlights up on YouTube: