After five almost thankless days for Surrey's bowlers being tonked around the postage-stamp ground at Whitgift they return to the Oval tomorrow bearing the scars of their Croydonian sojourn.
Both Stuart Meaker and Yasir Arafat injured hamstrings over the weekend and neither will be fit to face Glamorgan. The 12 man squad and expected XI is as follows:
Zander de Bruyn
12th man: Chris Jordan
As for the CB40 game yesterday I suspect Jewell, Jordan and Schofield will duke it out for the final two slots and as with yesterday I'd like to see the spot go to Jewell. I realise it is hard on Jordan to read too much into his figures from yesterday but he didn't look spot-on against Middlesex in April either. Jewell has been in good form for the 2nd XI this year and deserves a shot at first team cricket. The return of Dernbach is critical and much of the work will fall to him as while Jewell and Linley will do a job, they are unlikely to run through Glamorgan.
The batting picks itself really, with Jason Roy coming back in place of Kevin Pietersen. The top six are in pretty good nick, only Steven Davies is in need of a big score and the Oval is the ideal place to make that score. It will be interesting to see where Roy slots back in, he would almost certainly be more comfortable in the middle order and Maynard did a decent job of opening at Whitgift, it's six of one half a dozen of the other on that one for me.
But Surrey aren't the only ones with problems in the seam bowling department. Glamorgan come to the Oval without James Harris, Adam Shantry, Huw Waters or Jim Allenby. Dean Cosker could have to bowl a lot of overs but he's a mighty fine bowler to have doing so, one of the more under-rated spinners in county cricket in my view. On the batting front it will be largely the same side we faced in Cardiff but with the crucial addition of Ben Wright who has scored over 400 first class runs this season.
With two sides whose strength lies overwhelmingly in the batting this could turn into another draw but we can't really afford that, games are starting to mount up and we only have one Championship win under out belt. The top order needs to get big runs and Jade Dernbach needs to carry over his form from the Lions game, leading the attack from the front.
Azhar Ali - One of the World's Best
6 days ago