Cricket 2 years ago

Specsavers County Championship: Division 1, Round Two Preview

  • Specsavers County Championship: Division 1, Round Two Preview

Nottinghamshire emerged as the only side across division one to secure a victory in the opening round of the Specsavers County Championship as rain reigned supreme elsewhere to make sure that the points were shared at Chester-le-Street where Durham faced Somerset as well as at The Ageas Bowl where rain saved Hampshire from a certain defeat to Warwickshire.

We move towards the second round of fixtures starting on Sunday that sees Yorkshire beginning their title defence against Hampshire at Headingley, the newly promoted Lancashire kicking off their campaign against leaders Nottinghamshire and Middlesex starting their season against Ian Bell-led Warwickshire. 

Yorkshire Vs Hampshire - Headingley Cricket Ground

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Yorkshire enter the season as favourites to win their third straight title and there's no doubt as to who's the favourite going into this game, even if we haven't seen the White Roses in action yet. Hampshire fired a blank against a strong Warwickshire line-up and they could be piled yet more misery upon against an even stronger side that has as many as six England internationals in the squad. 

Hampshire do, however, boast a fine squad, (James Vince, Michael Carberry, Adam Wheater, Will Smith, Liam Dawson, Fidel Edwards, James Tomlinson, Ryan McLaren to name a few) bedight by potential all around, but the question is, will they be able to utilise it against a team that's been known for its fine tuning and consistency? One may doubt they would.

Yorkshire Squad: Andrew Gale (C), Jonny Bairstow (WK) , Gary Ballance, Will Rhodes, Adam Lyth, Alex Lees, Jack Leaning, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Ryan Sidebottom, Jackie Brooks, Steve Patterson.

Hampshire Squad: James Vince (C), Will Smith, Sean Ervine, Tom Alsop, Liam Dawson, Michael Carberry, Adam Wheater (WK), Ryan McLaren, James Tomlinson, Chris Wood, Fidel Edwards, Mason Crane, Brad Wheal. 

Lancashire Vs Nottinghamshire - Emirates Old Trafford

This one's going to take some beating, after all, not every match across the domestic circuit offers you the chance to see both James Anderson and Stuart Broad in action for opposite sides and that too at the Emirates Old Trafford. The two, though, could enjoy very contrasting fortunes once the fixture gets underway with one way traffic a possibility.

As promising as Lancashire are, they still need a lot of work and time to develop into a Championship winning side. On the contrary, Nottinghamshire already have a settled squad that displayed its title winning credentials last week with a near-perfect performance against Surrey at Trent Bridge and there's no reason why they shouldn't be able to replicate that this week too.

Lancashire Squad: Steven Croft (C), James Anderson, Tom Bailey, Karl Brown, Haseeb Hameed, Alex Davies (WK), Kyle Jarvis, Liam Livingstone, Alviro Petersen, Luke Procter, Luis Reece, Neil Wagner, Simon Kerrigan. 

Nottinghamshire Squad: Chris Read (C), Jake Ball, Jackson Bird, Stuart Broad, Matt Carter, Harry Gurney, Bret Hutton, Michael Lumb, Steven Mullaney, Greg Smith, Samit Patel, Brendan Taylor, Riki Wessels (WK). 

Middlesex Vs Warwickshire - Lord's Cricket Ground

By far the pick of the fixtures, Middlesex Vs Warwickshire promises to be a high-class game with both sides evenly matched across all departments making it very difficult to pick a winner out of these two. Maybe one might agree that Middlesex are the slight favourites because of the home advantage but that's the only advantage they have over their visiting opponents who themselves looked dominant in their unfortunate draw against Hampshire last week.

If Middlesex have Adam Voges, Nick Compton, Dawid Malan, Paul Stirling and Sam Robson, Warwickshire too boast of Varun Chopra, Ian Westwood, Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott and Sam Hain-like top class batsmen. It's a similar case with both the teams' bowling departments too so there's no separating these two. 

Middlesex Squad: Adam Voges (C), Nick Compton, Sam Robson, Paul Stirling, Dawid Malan, Ollie Rayner, Steven Finn, James Franklin, James Fuller, Nick Gubbins, James Harris, Toby Roland-Jones, John Simpson (WK).

Warwickshire Squad: Ian Bell (C), Tim Ambrose (WK), Rikki Clarke, Varun Chopra, Laurie Evans, Sam Hain, Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Jeetan Patel, Boyd Rankin, Jonathan Trott, Ian Westwood, Chris Woakes, Chris Wright.

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