Barnett excited by bowling attack

Ahead of the new season Cricket Advisor, Kim Barnett, praised a strong Derbyshire bowling attack which includes three international seamers.

Barnett played with and against some of the best bowlers of his generation so he knows the value of a quality attack.

When Derbyshire’s Cricket Advisor captained the Club during one of the most successful periods in its history, he could call on players of the pedigree of Michael Holding, Ian Bishop, Devon Malcolm and the Dane, Ole Mortensen.

For the first three months of this season, Billy Godleman will have a strong bowling unit to pick from with the South African pair Hardus Viljoen and Duanne Olivier supported by the experience of Tony Palladino and Ravi Rampaul, plus the emerging Will Davis.

Barnett said: “Much as I was a batsman mainly by trade, you know bowlers win you matches, certainly in the longer format.

“If we can get the younger seam bowlers through they will learn from these guys. It might be a good little marriage, senior guys with skills hopefully passing stuff on to the junior element, because we’ve got to bring through academy players, financially as much as anything for the Club.

“I think we are where we want to be now, I can understand people saying we’ve bought skills in but we want to compete and we want Members and supporters to have a competitive side, so that’s why we’ve done this while Mal Loye develops the Academy. We have a number of promising young bowlers at the Club and it’s important we continue to maximise their development.”

Barnett looked at several pace options before settling on Olivier who he hopes will make a significant impact on the county game.

“I quite fancied Duane originally, we were looking at him in September because he’s on the edge of international cricket,” Barnett explained.

“He’s 25 and I think County Cricket is starting to look at guys who are hungry to come and prove themselves rather than trying to work around all these schedules to get someone who is already in the system.

“He is a friend of Hardus and I think they will work well together and there’s no doubt he will be trying to prove himself.

“If you look at Tony and Ravi they operate in a similar way. Ravi is a tradesman and seasoned campaigner who has played mainly in Division One so you would hope in Division Two he will be a potent force.

“I interact with Billy about what he’s looking to do and then try and find the skills to match. He’s looking for a four-man unit particularly early season so he has got a bit to work with.

“It takes some managing to keep four of them fit which is why I say the all-rounders have to hold their hand up, but Luis [Reece] and Alex [Hughes] are working hard and they want to bowl so I would hope they will take a bit of the workload.

“But the attack does look nice and I would hope people will look at it and think that’s one that can win a match.”

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