Having scored a bag of runs in the Second XI in the last few weeks Arun Harinath has been named in Surrey's 14 man squad for the game with Sussex at Guildford starting tomorrow, and Usman Afzaal has been left out and I wonder if we'll see him in a Surrey shirt again.
The squad and my preference (after much deliberation) is as follows:
Bench: Steven Cheetham, Tim Linley, Jason Roy
Harinath and Lancefield will form what is, by my calculation, our 8th opening partnership in 12 Championship games which is by no means ideal, but I think Steve Davies is much better suited down the order and his runs are crucial. Harinath is a very stodgy player and Lancefield tends to play with a bit more freedom, so maybe they will complement each other nicely.
Jason Roy has done plenty to earn a spot in the Championship XI but I think it might just be a touch too soon at the moment. However if he was picked in the middle order in place of, say, Stewart Walters, I wouldn't be surprised or disappointed. I do think, however, that Walters has done a lot in recent games that suggests he's in very good touch.
Whether Spriegel or Meaker is picked is much of a muchness, I think they both bring plenty but Meaker's extra ability with the bat means he gets my nod. Steven Cheetham is by all accounts a very handy bowler but I'll always go for a Surrey boy over a loan signing!
In the game with Essex last season at Guildford it was a bit of a run fest, both teams racking up 350+ in the first innings and the match ended in a draw. We know only too well from the game earlier in the season how good a side Sussex are, we were on the end of a comprehensive 10 wicket thrashing and we'll have to bring our A-game if we are to beat them this week. They are a bit short of batsmen in top form, Goodwin keeps churning out the runs and they do bat deep, but their bowling has been good with Collymore in outstanding form and Panesar starting to come good too.
This one will be tough for Surrey but if we can give them a good game and run them close, we might just be able to sneak a win against a good outfit which will do wonders for the confidence of the side.
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