I wonder if Chris Adams was tempted to overhaul the side which turned out on Tuesday? Probably not all that tempted, because the risks involved in that would be great given the untried nature of many of those players in the background, but the thought must have occurred to him.
In any case, he's selected the same 13, plus Tim Linley for tonight's game. Conditions are very similar today to Tuesday, if there's a shower this afternoon things will be getting particularly hot and sweaty under the covers and bowling first could well be the order of the day. The side I would go for is:
Bench: Chris Schofield, Stewart Walters, Tim Linley
When push comes to shove, I wonder if Linley will play since he's been added and given the success of Gloucestershire's seamers on Tuesday, Adams might gamble on winning the toss and go with the extra pace bowler.
The bowling wasn't great on Tuesday, but they were only defending a total of 97, so the opposition had plenty of license to go hard at it, so I would persist for this game. The exception being Chris Schofield, seems harsh given the contribution he's given to us in limited overs in recent years, but I just think Batty should be given a go. No need to panic about Symonds' bowling either, by the time he was brought on the Gloucs openers were well up and running.
As I said yesterday, that batting lineup is simply too talented to fail so spectacularly twice in three days, and they say there's nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal. The players will still be smarting and will want to prove the (many) doubters wrong.
That will be tough though, because the Essex squad is strong, really strong: Mark Pettini, Ravi Bopara, Graham Napier, Grant Flower, Ryan ten Doeschate, Scott Styris, Matt Walker, James Foster, Michael Comber, Tim Phillips, David Masters, Danish Kaneria, Chris Wright, Maurice Chambers.
Masters, Kaneria, Napier, ten Doeschate and Styris, not to mention Ravi gives them plenty of quality bowling options. Pettini, Napier, Flower and the aforementioned triumvirate of Bopara, Styris and ten Doeschate gives their batting a powerful look. Add to that the expert keeping of Foster and you have a very nicely balanced side.
A win tonight would banish the memories of Tuesday 8th June 2010 to some degree, but a vastly improved performance almost irrespective of the result will do wonders for morale amongst the team.
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