In the lead up to the 2016 domestic season, ecb.co.uk is running a series of features with all 18 first-class counties. New arrival Andy Carter is backing Derbyshire to improve across all formats this year.
Andy Carter believes Derbyshire have a squad capable of challenging on all fronts ahead of the new county season.
While the departure of left-arm quick Mark Footitt stole most of the headlines, elite cricket performance director Graeme Welch has quietly set about assembling a side brimming with potential.
Seamer Carter has arrived from Nottinghamshire, boasting impressive bowling averages of under 28 in all three formats, and along with former County Championship winner Tom Milnes will bolster the bowling unit.
Billy Godleman has replaced Wayne Madsen as four-day captain, New Zealanders Neil Broom and Hamish Rutherford give a more robust look to the batting line-up, but Carter’s optimism comes with a note of caution for a side who finished second from bottom of the Championship pile last term.
“Pre-season is going really well,” he told ecb.co.uk. “I’ve settled in well with all the lads.
“I’ve played against them a fair few times because it’s local to where I used to be, so I know all the lads well.
“I want to play all three formats, contribute to Derbyshire having success and along the way do well myself.
“I wouldn’t like to put a baseline on any of it and I wouldn’t like to put a top lid on any of it. Every club is trying to win everything around the country and we’re no different to anybody else.
“We’re not going to prioritise any format; we want to win every game. I think we’ve got a good squad and we’ll be competing in all three formats.
“We’re quite a young squad really so adding Hamish and Neil Broom to the fold obviously adds a bit of experience. All of the lads are settling in really well and we’re all looking forward to playing under Billy as captain.”
Derbyshire sit out the opening round of Specsavers County Championship fixtures, but rather than rue a delayed start to the campaign, Carter believes it can work to their advantage.
“We start 10 days after everybody else and then we’ve got seven games in a row, so after those seven weeks we’ll know how we’re doing,” he added.
“If you can string a few wins together playing seven games in a row you can be on top before you know it and people can be chasing you.
“We’re completely focussed on those first seven games and putting wins on the board early doors.”
Not that the Championship is the only focus at the 3aaa County Ground.
“We’ve been to Abu Dhabi on a pre-season tour,” added Carter. “We played four games out there and we won all four games pretty convincingly.
“We’ve got a good young squad and we’re a dynamic squad in one-day cricket, so I think we can creep up on a lot of teams and I really think we’ll beat some good teams this season.”
— Derbyshire CCC (@DerbyshireCCC) April 1, 2016