Paceman Tony Palladino's latest column for The Cricketer Magazine, as he takes a look at what team chemistry really means and how it could have a major say in the Ashes.
The Ashes is soon to begin and once again England are favourites to emerge victorious. Why is this? Well, not only have they won the last three series but, to put it more bluntly, they are the best team. From top to bottom England are superior and deserve to be odds-on with the bookies. The Aussies may as well give up now because obviously England will win. The best team always wins, doesn't it?
Luckily for us in sport this is not always the case. It would be boring to watch a sporting event knowing that the favourite was going to win. So why does the underdog sometimes pull through and win? I believe some answers can be found by looking at a team’s chemistry and how they gel together.
Australia need to be cohesive this winter if they are going to beat England. By this I mean they need to play together, work together and fight together. All pulling in the same direction. No egos or prima donnas. If they can do this and harness the home crowd’s buzz, it might give them that extra push they need to cause an upset.
It's well documented that Shane Watson is not well liked by Michael Clarke but is always going to play when fit because he is one of Australia’s best players. As a coach should you drop your best players if you think it's the best for the team? It’s a decision I'm sure many Premier League football managers have to go through week in and week out.
On November 14th 2013, Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar will play his highly-publicised 200th and final Test match.
But tomorrow’s date will also hold a certain significance for one softly spoken, obdurate and hard-working batsman currently on the Derbyshire staff.
West Indies great Shivnarine Chanderpaul will compete in his 150th Test and the world will be watching.
When the second and final Test comes to a scheduled close on Monday, Chanderpaul and Jacques Kallis will be the last two cricketers who began their careers in the 1990s still competing on the international stage.
Shiv has enjoyed a career spanning over 19 years and is a member of the illustrious 10,000 Test runs club – and he’s still going.
“It’s not every day that someone gets to their 150th Test match,” he said. “It’s a milestone for me and I’m looking forward to it.
The ECB has announced a series of changes to its rules and regulations for first-class cricket from the start of the 2014 season.
This will include the wider use of the Super Over concept, the advent of coloured crease markings and a new 60-second cut off time for incoming batsmen in Domestic Twenty20 cricket.
The key changes, which were proposed by the ECB’s Cricket Committee and approved by the ECB Board yesterday, will also see the ECB adopt a number of regulations which are currently used at international level into its three main domestic competitions.
Commenting on the changes, ECB Chief Executive David Collier said: “These changes are designed to make our domestic game even more spectator and viewer-friendly as well as bring the county game into line with rule changes which have been successfully implemented at international level by the ICC.
"They will come into force along with the new county schedule next season and are the product of extensive consultation and discussion with all our key stakeholders in the domestic game.”
Pace bowler Tony Palladino says he’ll be working hard to put last season’s injury worries behind him and he hopes for a productive 2014 campaign.
The 30-year-old missed the majority of the 2013 season with a side strain, but returned to Karl Krikken’s side for the final three fixtures picking up 15 wickets at a shade over 17.
Palladino insists he will be working harder than anyone this winter to ensure he remains on the field for the entire 2014 summer as Derbyshire aim for an immediate return to the top flight.
“I’m working hard to make sure I get a full season in the bank next year and that’s what I am planning to do,” he said.
“I had a side strain towards the start of last season. It’s something that can happen to any bowler really. There can be a lot of strain on the body but it’s our job and I certainly wouldn’t chance it for the world.
Wicketkeeper Tom Poynton says the first week back has been his hardest ever, but insists the squad will be better off from it come April.
The playing squad reported back for the start of their winter training schedule last week and have been put through their paces by Strength and Conditioning Coach Jamie Tallent.
Poynton is beginning his seventh pre-season programme with the first team after graduating from the Cricket Derbyshire Academy in partnership with the University of Derby in 2008.
“I’m very stiff and sore at the moment. It's been one of the toughest first weeks we've had,” the 23-year-old said after completing the first week back.
“We’re all battling through it, but this is the stuff you love if it’s going to come good in April.
“We currently have three or four cardio days a week as well as gym work which has been specifically designed for each individual player.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club is pressing forward with funding applications for a £3.65 million redevelopment of the County Ground following further talks with Derby City Council.
Representatives from the Club and the Council met to review potential options for ground development and established that the only viable option within the City of Derby is the redevelopment of the County Ground.
Whilst the Club has still not ruled out a move to an alternative location elsewhere in the county, they will now pursue additional funds to augment their existing redevelopment budgets.
The Club has already gained £1.7 million in ECB funding and is now looking to secure an additional £1.9 million in loan and grant funding to secure the development of a 7,000 capacity outdoor amphitheatre capable of hosting international cricket, concerts and community events.
Despite interest from other counties, Wayne Madsen has signed a three-year contract extension with Derbyshire County Cricket Club.
The 29-year-old skipper and two-time Player of the Year is now committed to the Club until the conclusion of the 2016 season.
Madsen became the first player in the country to reach 1,000 LV= County Championship Division One runs during a standout 2013 season which brought a total of 1,239 first-class runs at 43.60 with three hundreds and eight fifties.
The inspirational Captain led his side to promotion as Division Two champions in 2012 followed by three victories last season in the county's first season back in the top flight for over a decade.
Madsen also added 389 runs in the one-day arena in 2013, including a career-best List A score of 78 in Derbyshire’s Yorkshire Bank 40 match versus Lancashire.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club paid its respects this Remembrance Sunday by laying wreaths at services across the county as the people of Derbyshire came together to remember.
Club Regional Representatives, who act as representatives for Members within each region, attended services within each district on behalf of Cricket Derbyshire as part of a national day of remembrance.
As part of a jointly coordinated operation, Regional Representatives from Derby City, Derbyshire Dales, Chesterfield and Bolsover, East Staffordshire, High Peak, Erewash and South Derbyshire laid commemorative wreaths to remember fallen Service men and women.
Chief Executive Simon Storey said: “It was appropriate that we were represented in every district on Remembrance Sunday this year as the County Cricket Club honours those who have lost their lives in service for the people of Derbyshire.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club has announced its Membership prices for the 2014 season and all categories are now on sale.
The pricing reflects the need to invest in the Club’s ambitions for success, but includes the chance to make savings of £15 prior to the 31st January Early Bird deadline.
Further discounts remain in place for students, senior citizens and those living more than 20 miles from the County Ground.
All regular season matches are once again included meaning Members can enjoy the three-day match against India in July at no extra charge, as well as eight home LV= County Championship matches and a combined 12 games across the 50 and 20 over competitions.
Early Bird Junior Membership is priced at just £20 and the popular Six Pack Tickets are again available for use at any six matches throughout the season, priced at £66.
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