The squad and expected XI to play Essex at Whitgift School is as follows:
12th man: Schofield
Two possible changes might occur come 11am tomorrow morning, Hamilton-Brown's opening partner is as yet unknown, even Hamilton-Brown himself might be shifted back down the order given his recent form in that slot. And depending on the pitch Chris Schofield might play instead of Tim Linley, giving a stiffer batting lineup but perhaps less penetration on the bowling front.
Adams' penchant for packed bowling attacks has been clear in recent weeks and the tactic has been rewarded with five wins, including a comprehensive demolition of Leicestershire inside three days. The last two Championship games at Whitgift have been relatively high-scoring draws so it may well prove the best tactic.
That just leaves de Bruyn. It would take a brave man to drop a player of his calibre and experience but having eulogised so much about Roy I can hardly say anything else: Jason Roy should be in this side. The poor bloke was picked for every game of pre-season at number three, only to be dropped on the morning of the first game. On being recalled he's made runs in four innings out of six, and now he's dumped again. That's to say nothing of the fact that he is unequivocally one of the most promising batsman at the club, and in England full stop.
In any case, this is what we have. What of the opposition? Essex have had an indifferent start to their Championship campaign, losing twice and winning just once in five games which is at odds with a hugely talented squad. They will have no Bopara who like Dernbach is away with the Lions but they still have a strong batting lineup led by Alistair Cook, ably assisted by the likes of Pettini, Foster and Walker.
Their bowling is not to be sniffed at either, the high-class Maurice Chambers could be joined by the evergreen David Masters and the occasionally impressive Chris Wright, with Graham Napier waiting in the wings to make his first Championship appearance of 2011. There's no sign of teenage sensation Reece Topley in their 12 man squad and their late-in-the-day overseas signing, Lonwabo Tsotsobe appears to have struggled to adapt to English conditions, he's disappeared for almost 5 an over across three games and has consequently been dropped.
This won't be easy for Surrey but despite the loss of Dernbach and Roy we're still putting out a strong side. There's pressure on the top order, a hundred from KP wouldn't go amiss, and Hamilton-Brown is still searching for that elusive big score this year, Whitgift provides him with an ideal opportunity. The team are on a roll and if they can turn that confidence into a victory over a good side like Essex, they'll really start to believe a promotion push is within their grasp.