Thursday, 8 July 2010

Tough game in prospect for Surrey

Surrey may well have battered Middlesex by nine wickets in the game at Lord's, but I don't think a similar result is in prospect tonight. Though Middlesex may have been marginally weakened in the opener's slot by the loss of Adam Gilchrist, they have in return the all round talents of Tyron Henderson.

Surrey on the other hand still have major injury concerns. Dernbach is still missing thanks to the injury sustained in that very game at Lord's, and Linley, Batty, Brown and Jordan are still out, though Schofield seems to have recovered from what looked like a sore knee on Sunday. The squad and my preference is as follows:

Tom Lancefield
Mark Ramprakash
Jason Roy
Rory Hamilton-Brown
Stewart Walters
Andrew Symonds
Gary Wilson
atthew Spriegel
Stuart Meaker
Andre Nel
Chris Tremlett

Bench: Younus Khan, Chris Schofield

Gary Wilson at number seven is not ideal, but I think the extra bowler is necessary given the performance of our bit-part bowlers of late. Younus is available but Walters has been performing far better with the bat lately so he's earned his place. I wonder if Andre Nel might be rested as he was on Sunday, in which case Schofield will almost certainly come in, and indeed may play in Meaker's place in any case depending on conditions.

Middlesex's 15 man squad has also been named, it is as follows: Neil Dexter, Gareth Berg, Pedro Collins, Josh Davey, Tyron Henderson, Dawid Malan, Tim Murtagh, Scott Newman, Iain O'Brien, Toby Roland-Jones, Ben Scott, Owais Shah, Tom Smith, Jackson Thompson, David Warner. A couple of relative unknowns in there, I'm thinking of Davey and Thompson in particular, but there's also some quality. Murtagh and O'Brien will make a very tricky seam pair to negotiate, Tom Smith has been in good form lately and Dexter, Berg and Henderson make for some very handy options too. On the batting front we all know how destructive Warner can be and there's the potential of Shah, Newman, Dexter, Henderson and Berg to consider too. All in all, that is a very nicely balanced and potent looking side.

I think we will struggle to win tonight, the result against Glamorgan probably knocked the players a bit and it could go one of two ways, they'll either want to hit back hard, or they could be rolled over easily. I obviously hope its the former and there's plenty of ability in that side, but Middlesex are a tough prospect.

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