LVCC PREVIEW: Leaders Sussex aiming to get back on track at Old Trafford

The fifth round of the LV= County Championship begins on Sunday with leaders Sussex hoping to get back on track after their heavy loss to Somerset last time out and defending champions Durham in front of the Sky Sports cameras against Yorkshire. Division Two sees Worcestershire and Leicestershire do battle against Glamorgan and an injury-hit Essex respectively, both of whom have both been forced into making loan-signings.

Andrew Gale on the attack

Durham v Yorkshire at Chester-le-Street (televised by Sky Sports)

Durham are boosted by the arrival of Sri Lankan overseas player Kumar Sangakkara for the first of two LV= County Championship matches as he prepares for the forthcoming series against England. They also welcome back all-rounder Mark Wood from a side strain, with either Usman Arshad or Jamie Harrison likely to make way.

Durham squad: TBC

Yorkshire are without their England pair of Joe Root and Gary Ballance after they were selected for Friday’s One-Day International against Scotland. Captain Andrew Gale will be back to lead the side, while Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan have also been included in a 13-man squad, as has batsman Jack Leaning. Bairstow played for the Academy today against Sheffield Collegiate and made just four in a low-scoring match.

Yorkshire squad: Adam Lyth, Alex Lees, Kane Williamson, Andrew Gale (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, Tim Bresnan, Liam Plunkett, Ryan Sidebottom, Steve Patterson, Jack Brooks, Andrew Hodd, Jack Leaning.

Old Trafford

Old Trafford

Lancashire v Sussex at Old Trafford

Both sides are without international players, with James Anderson and Jos Buttler unavailable due to commitments in Aberdeen, along with Sussex’s Chris Jordan. Ed Joyce, meanwhile, will play for Ireland against Sri Lanka in Dublin on Tuesday and Thursday.

Lancashire are also without the injured Kyle Hogg as they look to build on their win over Northamptonshire. Karl Brown, Steven Croft and Alex Davies have all been named in a 13-man squad, but Andrea Agathangelou has been dropped after a poor start to the season. Kyle Jarvis and Wayne White will vie to replace Anderson, while Croft and Brown will battle for Agathangelou’s spot.

Lancashire squad: Paul Horton, Luis Reece, Steven Croft, Ashwell Prince, Luke Procter, Alex Davies (wicket-keeper), Tom Smith, Glen Chapple (captain), Kabir Ali, Simon Kerrigan, Kyle Jarvis, Wayne White, Karl Brown.

Sussex welcome back Chris Nash (ruptured appendix) to skipper the side and Luke Wright (side strain) from injuries to make up for the loss of their internationals. They have also included Lewis Hatchett and Steffan Piolet in a 13-man squad, although Matt Prior is still struggling with his Achilles injury. Ashar Zaidi could be left out after his Twitter indiscretions if a specialist spinner is deemed surplus to requirement.

Sussex squad: Chris Nash (captain), Luke Wells, Michael Yardy, Rory Hamilton-Brown, Matt Machan, Luke Wright, Ben Brown (wicket-keeper), Steffan Piolet, Steve Magoffin, James Anyon, Jon Lewis, Lewis Hatchett, Ashar Zaidi.

Marcus Trescothick

Marcus Trescothick

Somerset v Nottinghamshire at Taunton

Somerset look set to play an unchanged side form the one that beat Sussex, with Jack Leach replacing fellow spinner George Dockrell in the squad. Craig Meschede (rib) and Steve Kirby (ankle) are still injured.

Somerset squad: Marcus Trescothick (captain), Chris Jones, Nick Compton, Alviro Petersen, James Hildreth, Craig Kieswetter (wicket-keeper), Johann Myburgh, Peter Trego, Lewis Gregory, Alfonso Thomas, Jamie Overton, Jack Leach, Craig Overton.

Nottinghamshire have lost both of their last two matches and are without England player Harry Gurney and Alex Hales, who has gone on loan to Worcestershire. They have also omitted Luke Fletcher from the bowling attack, with Ajmal Shahzad and Jake Ball both set to feature. Andre Adams is still ruled out with a calf injury, while second XI coach and veteran left-arm spinner Gary Keedy has been included in the 13-man squad alongside Brett Hutton.

Nottinghamshire squad: Phil Jaques, Steven Mullaney, Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Samit Patel, Riki Wessels, Chris Read (captain, wicketkeeper), Peter Siddle, Ajmal Shahzad, Jake Ball, Andy Carter, Brett Hutton, Gary Keedy.

testerWarwickshire v Middlesex at Edgbaston

The Bears are missing Ian Bell, Chris Woakes and William Porterfield due to international commitments so they will be led by Varun Chopra. Boyd Rankin is again included in the 13-man squad and will hope to start, while Ian Westwood is fit again following his ankle injury. The balance of the side will be interesting, with young batters Sam Hain and Jonathon Webb both possible to play unless five specialist bowlers are selected.

Warwickshire squad: Varun Chopra (captain), Ian Westwood, Laurie Evans, Jonathon Webb, Ateeq Javid, Tim Ambrose (wicket-keeper), Sam Hain, Keith Barker, Jeetan Patel, Chris Wright, Boyd Rankin, Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Richard Jones.

Middlesex are unable to select Eoin Morgan and Tim Murtagh due to international duties, so have picked seam-bowler Harry Podmore and Zimbabwe-born England Under-19 batsman Ryan Higgins in a 13-man squad. They will hope to build on their record-breaking victory over Yorkshire and overtake Sussex at the top of the table.

Middlesex squad: Chris Rogers (captain), Sam Robson, Dawid Malan, Neil Dexter, Adam Rossington, Joe Denly, John Simpson (wicket-keeper), Ollie Rayner, James Harris, Toby Roland-Jones, Steven Finn, Harry Podmore, Ryan Higgins.


Teams Mat Won Lost Tied Draw Aban Pts
Sussex 3 2 1 0 0 0 46
Middlesex 3 2 1 0 0 0 43
Somerset 3 1 0 0 2 0 39
Yorkshire 3 1 1 0 1 0 37
Warwickshire 3 1 1 0 1 0 35
Lancashire 3 1 1 0 1 0 31
Nottinghamshire 3 1 2 0 0 0 28
Durham 2 0 0 0 2 0 22
Northamptonshire 3 0 2 0 1 0 16

1400x362Essex v Leicestershire at Chelmsford

An injury-ravaged Essex will have to make at least four changes to the side that drew with Gloucestershire last time out. David Masters and Graham Napier both picked up problems during that game, leaving Tymal Mills as the only fit fast-bowler on the professional staff, while Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara have both been called up by England. Ryan ten Doeschate (IPL), Nick Browne, Tom Craddock, Tim Phillips (all broken fingers), Sajid Mahmood (side strain) and Reece Toply (back) are all unavailable. All of which means that Oliver Newby has joined on loan from Lancashire, while seam-bowling all-rounder Tanweer Sikandar has been hastily signed from Minor County Hertfordshire. Matt Salisbury is fit to play after recovering from a back problem, with Mark Pettini and Kishen Velani both making a 12-man squad.

Essex squad: Jaik Mickleburgh, Tom Westley, Greg Smith, Mark Pettini, Ben Foakes, James Foster (captain, wicket-keeper), Kishen Velani, Tanweer Sikandar, Oliver Newby, Monty Panesar, Tymal Mills, Matt Salisbury.

By contrast, Leicestershire have no new injuries to report alongside those of skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shiv Thakor and Dan Redfern. They will be without wicket-keeper Niall O’Brien due to Ireland commitments, but will have Rob Taylor available prior to him linking up with the Scotland squad. Michael Thornely is O’Brien’s replacement, while Nathan Buck will hope to force his way into the starting eleven but will probably again be disappointed.

Leicestershire squad: Greg Smith, Mathew Boyce, Ned Eckersley (wicket-keeper), Angus Robson, Josh Cobb (captain), Michael Thornely, Ben Raine, Rob Taylor, Jigar Naik, Anthony Ireland, Charlie Shreck.

Glamorgan v Worcestershire at Cardiff

Glamorgan have also been forced into the loan market, recruiting highly-promising seamer Tom Helm from Middlesex to make up for the absence of Michael Hogan on paternity leave.

Glamorgan squad: Jacques Rudolph, Gareth Rees, Will Bragg, Murray Goodwin, Stewart Walters, Jim Allenby, Mark Wallace (captain, wicket-keeper), Graham Wagg, Ruaidhri Smith, Tom Helm, Dean Cosker, Will Owen.

Surprise early-stage leaders Worcestershire also have a loan-signing, with Alex Hales signed from Nottinghamshire to make up for the absence of Moeen Ali on England duty. Otherwise, they are likely to be unchanged from the eleven that thrashed Derbyshire, with seamer Nick Harrison expected to be 12th man.

Worcestershire squad: Daryl Mitchell (captain), Matthew Pardoe, Alex Hales, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Alexei Kervezee, Ross Whiteley, Ben Cox (wicket-keeper), Gareth Andrew, Jack Shantry, Saeed Ajmal, Charlie Morris, Nick Harrison.

Kent v Surrey at Canterbury

Bottom side Kent have made one change following their draw against Leicestershire in round three. All-rounder Adam Ball comes in at the expense of Charlie Hartley in case Kent decide to bolster their weak tail, with James Tredwell away with England. Mark Davies, Calum Haggett, David Griffiths and Matt Hunn are all injured.

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, Adam Ball.

Surrey are missing Gary Wilson due to Ireland duty and Tom Curran due to exams and have recruited former Worcestershire all-rounder Aneesh Kapil for this game after he played for their second XI. Arun Harinath is again in the squad, while Tim Linley makes a comeback, with Vikram Solanki still unavailable for personal reasons.

Surrey squad: Graeme Smith (captain), Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Zafar Ansari, Steven Davies (wicket-keeper), Jason Roy, Aneesh Kapil, Stuart Meaker, Tim Linley, Jade Dernbach, Matt Dunn, Arun Harinath.


Teams Mat Won Lost Tied Draw Aban Pts
Worcestershire 3 2 0 0 1 0 56
Hampshire 4 1 0 0 3 0 54
Essex 3 1 0 0 2 0 41
Glamorgan 3 1 0 0 2 0 39
Leicestershire 2 0 0 0 2 0 23
Gloucestershire 3 0 1 0 2 0 22
Surrey 3 0 1 0 2 0 21
Derbyshire 3 0 2 0 1 0 18
Kent 2 0 1 0 1 0 14

Daniel Grummitt

Cricket Writer at World Cricket Badger
Daniel first began writing about cricket in 2011, having been a fan of the game ever since his Grandad introduced him to it at the age of 10.

He worked for 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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