Friday, April 25th, 2014

Rhodes Believes Derbyshire Will Provide Another “tough Nut To Crack”

Rhodes Believes Derbyshire Will Provide Another “tough Nut To Crack”

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes is expecting Derbyshire will prove to be another "tough nut to crack" in the LV County Championship clash which gets underway at New Road on Sunday (11am).

The county have been boosted by the availability of Pakistan spin star Saeed Ajmal in time to start his second spell at New Road against Derbyshire.

Rhodes is also hoping Worcestershire "can build confidence" from their impressive 125 run home win over Kent which followed on from an impressive draw in the rain-hit clash with pre-season promotion favourites Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

But he is aware of the challenge which will be provided by Derbyshire after their relegation from Division One at the end of last season.

The two counties locked horns three times during the pre-season trip to Abu Dhabi in Twenty20, 50 over and two-day matches.

Rhodes said: "Hopefully the win over Kent will give the lads a lot of belief and a lot of confidence going into the next game.

"We've had a good start without an overseas (player) and without Alan Richardson (retired).

"I'm optimistic that the lads can build confidence and know that they can play good cricket and keep this going.

"I'm sure we will have some hiccups somewhere along the way and we've got to deal with those.

"Moving forward, you add Saeed to this team and, with a side full of confidence, and you'd say we should go well against Derbyshire.

"But Derbyshire, as we found in Abu Dhabi, are a lot better unit than they used to be three or four years ago.

"They went into Division One, came down, but they had three good wins so they will be a tough nut to crack as well."

Worcestershire are currently lying in second spot in the table with a return of 32 points from their opening two games.

Admission prices for the four-day game are £16 for adults (£13 in advance) and £5 for juniors.

A reminder that the second eleven Twenty20 game with Glamorgan on May 9 has been switched from New Road to Kidderminster's Chester Road ground.