The top three teams at the this early stage of the season in Division One of the LV= County Championship are taking the round off, meaning that the rest have the opportunity to regain some ground.
by Daniel Grummitt
Somerset travel to Durham after having the better of the draw against Yorkshire, while Durham themselves will hope to put the disappointment of failing to force victory against a weakened Northamptonshire behind them.
The home side have named an unchanged 13-man squad, with Paul Coughlin and Gordon Muchall again hoping to break into the eleven. Ben Stokes (wrist) and Mark Wood (side strain) remain injured, with the latter hoping to play for the second-team on Monday.
Durham squad: Mark Stoneman, Keaton Jennings, Scott Borthwick, Michael Richardson, Phil Mustard (wicket-keeper), Paul Collingwood (captain), Gareth Breese, Usman Arshad, Jamie Harrison, Graham Onions, Chris Rushworth, Gordon Muchall, Paul Coughlin.
Somerset have injury concerns with members of their seam attack. Steve Kirby is definitely out as is Craig Overton (ribs), while Alfonso Thomas (back spasms) is a doubt. If they miss out, then Jamie Overton, Peter Trego or George Dockrell could benefit.
Somerset squad: Marcus Trescothick (captain), Chris Jones, Nick Compton, Alviro Petersen, James Hildreth, Craig Kieswetter (wicket-keeper), Johann Myburgh, Peter Trego, Craig Meschede, Lewis Gregory, Jamie Overton, Alfonso Thomas, George Dockrell, Josh Davey.
Both sides lost their opening fixtures, and both have been hit by negative news ahead of the match. While all at the club and beyond wish newly-appointed England coach Peter Moores well, it will surely be a distraction that it will be his last match in charge of the county. Meanwhile, Warwickshire have been dealt a blow with the news that Jonathan Trott will be unavailable for the foreseeable future after suffering a setback in his recovery from a stress-related illness.
Lancashire are, however, boosted by the return of club captain and key bowler Glen Chapple, although Kyle Hogg remains unavailable due to a calf injury. Chapple is most likely to replace Wayne White from the eleven that lost to Nottinghamshire in week one, while Karl Brown could strengthen the batting. Jos Buttler will do likewise as he makes his club debut in place of Alex Davies.
Lancashire squad: Paul Horton, Luis Reece, Andrea Agathangelou, Ashwell Prince, Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Luke Procter, Tom Smith, Glen Chapple (captain), Kabir Ali, Simon Kerrigan, James Anderson, Karl Brown, Wayne White, Kyle Jarvis.
Warwickshire are further depleted by the absence of all-rounder Rikki Clarke after he was hit on the hand by Chris Jordan during the defeat to Sussex and diagnosed with a broken finger. Jim Troughton, Boyd Rankin and Ian Westwood are all still injured. Ateeq Javid is almost certain to find a place in the starting eleven after missing out against Sussex, while Sam Hain and William Porterfield have also been included in the 13-man squad.
Warwickshire squad: Varun Chopra, Laurie Evans, William Porterfield, Ian Bell (c), Tim Ambrose (wicket-keeper), Ateeq Javid, Chris Woakes, Keith Barker, Jeetan Patel, Chris Wright, Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Sam Hain, Richard Jones.
Yorkshire still have injuries ruling out their England trio. Jonny Bairstow has a fractured finger, while Joe Root has a broken thumb, and Tim Bresnan is set to return to action in early May. It is therefore an identical squad to the one that drew with Somerset, with Moin Ashraf again expected to be 12th man.
Yorkshire squad: Adam Lyth, Alex Lees, Kane Williamson, Andrew Gale (captain), Gary Ballance, Adil Rashid, Andrew Hodd (wicket-keeper), Liam Plunkett, Ryan Sidebottom, Steve Patterson, Jack Brooks, Moin Ashraf.
David Sales should be back to take his place in the Northamptonshire starting eleven after recovering from a calf injury. He could replace David Willey, who is still struggling with a back injury and played against Durham as a specialist batsman. Olly Stone is also named in the 13-mand squad.
Northamptonshire squad: Stephen Peters (captain), James Middlebrook, Kyle Coetzer, David Sales, Rob Newton, Matthew Spriegel, Andrew Hall, Steven Crook, David Murphy (wicket-keeper), Maurice Chambers, Mohammad Azharullah, Olly Stone, David Willey.
Division Two sees bottom side Derbyshire entertain leaders Hampshire as they look to bounce back from a promising, but ultimately losing, performance against Essex. Elsewhere, Glamorgan will look to build on their opening round win as they host Gloucestershire, and Leicestershire become the final team to get their season underway as they travel to Canterbury.
Derbyshire have made one change following their defeat to Essex, with all-rounder Jonathan Clare axed to make a 12-man squad. Tony Palladino could well edge out Mark Turner for the final seam-bowling slot.
Derbyshire squad: Stephen Moore, Billy Godleman, Wayne Madsen (captain), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chesney Hughes, Wes Durston, Richard Johnson (wicket-keeper), David Wainwright, Tony Palladino, Tim Groenewald, Mark Footitt, Mark Turner.
Hampshire are again on the road following their win last week over Gloucestershire. Adam Wheater is ruled out after picking up a hand injury at Bristol, with Michael Bates replacing him behind the stumps. Danny Briggs will hope to force his way into the eleven if a specialist spinner is needed, with David Balcombe again likely to be the unlucky seamer.
Hampshire squad: Michael Carberry, Jimmy Adams (captain), Liam Dawson, James Vince, Will Smith, Joe Gatting, Sean Ervine, Michael Bates (wicket-keeper), Matt Coles, Kyle Abbott, James Tomlinson, Danny Briggs, David Balcombe.
Glamorgan will definitely make one change following their surprising opening round win over Surrey. Overseas Jacques Rudolph will be available for selection, and will possibly play ahead of Jim Allenby, who is a doubt after injuring his ankle on the golf course. Will Owen could replace Ruaidhri Smith in the starting eleven, although Glamorgan are yet to confirm their squad.
Gloucestershire are now confident that Ian Saxelby is fully fit after he missed the defeat to Hampshire. However, who he will replace remains to be seen. His replacement at Bristol, Matt Taylor, took five wickets so he would count himself incredibly unlucky if he was the one to make way.
Gloucestershire squad: Michael Klinger (captain), Chris Dent, Will Tavare, Alex Gidman, Hamish Marshall, Will Gidman, Cameron Herring (wicket-keeper), Tom Smith, Ian Saxelby, David Payne, Matt Taylor, James Fuller.
Kent have decided to rest James Tredwell as he works on “some technical modifications as he re-adjusts to Championship cricket after a winter of ODIs and T20Is.” Adam Riley replaces him in the squad, with Charlie Hartley again expected to be named 12th man. David Griffiths (triceps strain), Mark Davies (torn bicep) and Calum Haggett (side strain) were all unavailable for selection.
Kent squad: Rob Key (captain), Sam Northeast, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Brendan Nash, Ben Harmison, Darren Stevens, Sam Billings (wicket-keeper), Adam Riley, Mitchell Claydon, Doug Bollinger, Robbie Joseph, Charlie Hartley.
Shiv Thakor and Dan Redfern are ruled out for the Foxes as they make their 2014 Championship debut. Redfern broke a finger in a warm-up game last week. However, overseas player Ramnaresh Sarwan is available and will lead the side. Former Leicestershire players Robbie Joseph and Darren Stevens will play for Kent, while Charlie Shreck moved in the other direction over the winter.
Leicestershire squad: Greg Smith, Matthew Boyce, Ned Eckersley, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Josh Cobb, Niall O’Brien, Ben Raine, Rob Taylor, Jigar Naik, Nathan Buck, Charlie Shreck, Anthony Ireland, Angus Robson.
Surrey have Jade Dernbach available after the was rested for the opening round defeat to Glamorgan, with Tim Linley making way. Vikram Solanki remains absent for family reasons.
Surrey squad: Graeme Smith (captain), Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Zafar Ansari, Steven Davies (wicket-keeper), Gary Wilson, Jason Roy, Tom Curran, Stuart Meaker, Chris Tremlett, Jade Dernbach, Matt Dunn.
Essex have named an unchanged squad from their win over Derbyshire, with Reece Topley still sidelined by a back injury and Ryan ten Doeschate still at the IPL.
Essex squad: Alastair Cook, Jaik Mickleburgh, Tom Westley, Ravi Bopara, Ben Foakes, Greg Smith, James Foster (captain, wicket-keeper), Graham Napier, David Masters, Monty Panesar, Tymal Mills, Sajid Mahmood.
Weather Forecast: Sunday will be over overcast, with rain, occasionally heavy, for the far south. It will remain unsettled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with showers and sunny spells and temperatures peaking at between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius. There will be an easterly breeze for much of the week.
He worked for CricketWorld.com for almost three years, leading their county and domestic cricket coverage and contributing to a book about the 2012 ICC World Twenty20, before joining the hugely ambitious World Cricket Badger early in 2014.
The first Test that he remembers watching was on Channel 4 - back before the ECB marginalised potential future fans by selling the TV rights to Sky Sports - when England beat Pakistan by an innings and nine runs at Lord’s.
Besides a passion for domestic cricket, he also has an unexplainable interest in all things Zimbabwe cricket!
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