Duckett set to take the gloves in Championship reshuffle

David Murphy has relinquished the wicketkeeping gloves with Ben Duckett taking over
David Murphy has relinquished the wicketkeeping gloves with Ben Duckett taking over

Ben Duckett will keep wicket for Northamptonshire when they face Yorkshire in the County Championship today (Saturday).

The 19-year-old, who has played solely as a batsman in the last three four-day games, will take over the role from David Murphy who has been left out so that an extra batsman can be fitted into the line-up.

That will be Rob Keogh who will make his first appearance of the campaign after recovering from a broken index finger in pre-season.

Having lost their previous four outings, three by an innings, a change in approach was always on the cards and Duckett’s alteration in job description was an obvious road to go down.

Speaking about the change, head coach David Ripley said: “David (Murphy) has battled away with a damaged thumb for a while but we need to bolster the batting.

“Ben keeping will allow that to happen and it will be good to have Rob back in the side.

“Our batting hasn’t been good enough and an extra body can’t hurt in that area.”

While the batting has been the side’s main Achilles heel, the bowling, in the past two defeats to Nottinghamshire and Middlesex respectively, hasn’t been a great deal better.

But with Olly Stone, who would have been in line for a recall, out for seven-10 days with a side strain, it will be a case of picking from those who are available.

Ripley continued: “We’d have liked to have had Olly back but we’ll be picking from the five seamers that are fit and we’ll make a call on the morning.”

As things stand, the County are propping up the Division One table with just 22 points from their five games, 34 behind Lancashire who have played a game more.

Yorkshire are third, 15 points off the pace currently being set by Middlesex.

Northants from: Peters, Middlebrook, Sales, Spriegel, Newton, Duckett, Hall, Keogh, Chambers, Azharullah, Butler, Crook.