After two defeats, it may not look as if Derbyshire are moving forward in one-day cricket but new head coach John Sadler is confident the team is heading in the right direction.
The Falcons were narrowly beaten by the Birmingham Bears and Yorkshire Vikings in the space of three days but are still in an upbeat mood ahead of tomorrow night’s (Friday) home T20 Blast game against local rivals Nottinghamshire Outlaws.
Sadler, whose appointment until the end of the season was confirmed hours before the Bears game last Friday, knows his team could easily have come out on top in both matches.
“We haven’t been outplayed by anybody,” he said. “We played against a good Warwickshire side last Friday and went to the last ball and on Sunday, we played a side where the first eight batsmen were international cricketers so for us to lose by one run shows that we are competing and we believe we can beat any team.”
Sadler’s assertion is backed up by the performances in both T20 and 50-overs cricket this season and he believes they can progress in both forms of the one-day game.
“The white ball cricket is possibly our best chance of going to the later stages. We’ve played some super cricket in the 50-over competition and had a good start in the twenty20, even though we’ve been a bit unfortunate to lose the last two,” he said.
“We could easily be sitting here with four more points but that’s the game. It’s more about the processes and the way we are playing.
“As far as expectations go, it would be disappointing if we didn’t get to the knockout stage in one of the white-ball competitions and we certainly believe we can get to one of those this year, if not both.
“We have a really good side, some highly skilled cricketers who work hard and buy into our plans and if we go out and perform consistently we know we can beat anyone on the day.
“If we have a bit of good fortune along the way and win a couple of tight games then we won’t be far off. We do think if we play to our best we will win games of cricket.
“In terms of progression, in our first year we were here, we won one game in the T20, last year we won four so if we keep progressing that’s all we can ask.”
Derbyshire are expecting a 4,000 crowd for the visit of the Outlaws and Sadler admitted: “It’s a game we are looking forward to, it’s one of the highlights of the season.
“We know we have good plans, people know their role and what they are about. Cricket can be a fickle game but we know we are playing good cricket.”