Sam Conners believes Derbyshire will be boosted by the return of senior players ahead of their LV= County Championship fixture against Middlesex at Lord’s, starting on Monday (11am).
Conners is just one of a long list of recent first team absentees, either through injury or call ups to The Hundred, with captain Billy Godleman, Luis Reece, Leus du Plooy, Matt Critchley, Wayne Madsen and Dustin Melton all expected to return to action before the end of the season.
Godleman is likely to join Conners in the line-up at Lord’s, while Critchley, du Plooy and Reece have all returned from their stints in the new competition fit and available for selection. Madsen and Melton both continue to be assessed by the Club’s medical team, but should be back on the park soon.
Reece and Critchley featured alongside Conners in the Second XI win over Nottinghamshire earlier this week, with all three players making big contributions ahead of their return to first team cricket, and Conners believes the impact of the returns could propel Derbyshire to a positive start in Division Three.
“We’ve spoken all week about how the vibe, with players coming back, is so different in terms of getting everyone up for the game,” he said.
“Obviously, when you’re going through a bit of a rut, the energy in the dressing room can suffer, but with lads coming back from injury and The Hundred, the energy was really high this week.
“The players who are coming back are senior players, you look at Billy and Wayne, the runs they have between them, we’ve needed that this year and unfortunately they’ve had a couple of quite serious injuries. Now they’re back, it’ll hopefully be a good last four games of the season.
“In red ball cricket, you can start over-thinking what you need to do, so having that bit of time away from it is crucial for everyone to have a clean slate and come back fresh. It’s especially important that we go out there and express ourselves.
“We had a really good talk before this game, about how if we win this one we can build some momentum and take that into the last few games.”