Friday, 17 June 2011

Ansari and Dunn in contention for Gloucestershire game

Surrey could field a side containing seven players aged 25 or under in the Championship game against Gloucestershire starting at the Oval on Sunday, with both Matt Dunn and Zafar Ansari named in the 12 man squad.

It's something of a new look squad with no room for any of Schofield, Jordan or Wilson and still no sign of the injured Brown. More worryingly there is no news on the progress of Stuart Meaker who has now been out of cricket for a month.

The squad and expected XI is as follows:

Rory Hamilton-Brown
Jason Roy
Mark Ramprakash
Zander de Bruyn
Steven Davies
Tom Maynard
Gareth Batty
Yasir Arafat
Tim Linley
Jade Dernbach
Matthew Dunn

12th man: Zafar Ansari

Much will probably depend on the pitch in influencing Adams' decision to go with Ansari or not. As heroic as his T20 debut was I think it unlikely that he will replace Batty so it will probably come down to a choice between him and Dunn. The pitches have been leaning towards favouring the seamers lately so I suspect Dunn will get the nod.

There is a lingering concern that Batty and Arafat at seven and eight constitutes too long a tail, especially as since making a good start to the season Batty has registered only one score above 20 in his last seven innings. However Arafat's form with the bat has been heading in the right direction, here's hoping he can continue his up-turn in form with the ball as well.

There are few form-related problems with the top six batsmen, all have made runs of some description of late and the onus will be on them to post a good base. Dernbach, Linley, Dunn and Arafat represents quite a nicely balanced seam attack and Batty can, as ever, hold up an end even if he has only taken five wickets in his last four matches.

The opposition are not the strongest, but they're just three points behind us and there are players not to be taken lightly. Jon Lewis and Ian Saxelby have 49 wickets between them in the seven games so far and in the batting Will Gidman and Chris Taylor have a weight of runs behind them this season. Hamish Marshall and Kane Williamson too are players who can do damage.

On paper we are probably the stronger side, certainly our batting is stronger and if the bowling attack bowls to their ability we have the edge on that measure as well. On the back of the comeback win against Derbyshire away from home, this game is a great opportunity to get to the halfway point in the season with 100 points or more.

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