Durham’s bowling attack is getting all the attention, but don’t forget that they’ve prepared pitches to suit it and their batsmen have had to bat on those very same tracks.
Not many of Durham’s batsmen have prospered. Most of their 2008 averages aspire to mediocrity. Of Durham players who’ve played more than a couple of games, only four average over 30.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul – 411 runs at 37.36
Shiv’s currently ranked as the best Test batsman in the world. You would hope for runs from him. As Lord Megachief of Gold, you would positively demand them.
Dale Benkenstein – 783 runs at 43.50
Players hit more runs at better averages for other counties, but these runs were more valuable. We move that Dale Benkenstein be nicknamed ‘Benkensteino’ from now on.
Michael Di Venuto – 1,058 runs at 46
No-one else made more than 1,000 runs for Durham. Australian batsmen who aren’t quite good enough for the Test side are so important in county cricket, it’s obscene. We move that Michael Di Venuto be nicknamed ‘Dio Venuto-o’ from now, on the grounds that it’s so catchy and easy to say.
Will Smith – 925 runs at 51.38
Will Smith is perhaps of most interest. He’s scored half of his first-class hundreds (three) this season and we’re not giving much away if we say he’ll be one to watch next season.