I haven't posted for a while. Although the IPL's rocking along in India I haven't seen any of it and it doesn't feel to me as though the season's really begun here. I am, however, hoping to get up to Taunton this week (weather, as always, permitting) for some of Somerset's County Championship match with Hampshire, which begins on Wednesday.

A batsman who I'm looking forward to seeing is Somerset's talented 23 year-old, James Hildreth, for whom this is a crucial season. In common with most other observers down here in the English south-west I have little doubt that he's got what it takes, in terms of basic talent and temperament, to succeed at the very highest level. Owing to a sluggish start he wasn't given the opportunity to really display his wares on the England Lions tour of India during the winter, with the consequence that he won't be lining up with the rest of the hopefuls when the New Zealand tourists arrive in Southampton later this week.

He, however, has already visited Southampton, making 112* to take Somerset to victory, chasing 287, in the Friends Provident Trophy on Friday evening. By all accounts it was an excellent knock and one which should, at least, remind the selectors of his existence.

Some more where that came from, especially in the limited-over game, could lead to Hildreth being the latest player to be introduced to the international scene via the perenially transitional England one-day side, although players who were given more opportunities than him in India and who achieved more (Carberry, Rashid of course) are nearer the front of the queue and will be facing the Black Caps on Thursday, while Hildreth lines up against the even less threatening Hampshire attack.

Disappointing, both for those of us who follow him and, I'm sure, James himself, but, with his real long-term ambition and destiny being a place in the Test side, County Championship runs are vital.

I, for one, hope he can deliver.

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