Surrey are in Oxford this week to play the University side in a three day friendly. As is usually the case with friendly matches it provides a chance for resting some of the regulars and trying out some of the fringe players.
A 12 man squad has been named and a possible XI is below:
12th man: Michael Burgess
Given how little is known of the likes of Winslade and Burgess its hard to pinpoint what roles they will play. Given that Burgess is a keeper, and one that has batted fairly low down in the order in the few Second XI Championship games he's played, it seems likely that he'll be the one to sit out with Rory Burns taking the gloves. Winslade has played as an allrounder for the 2s up to this point but he may in fact come in below Lewis and Meaker in the batting.
The side above is not short of bowling. Tremlett, Meaker, Lewis, Dunn and Edwards would make a pretty good County Championship attack never mind for a friendly. Lewis, Dunn and Edwards will just be looking for overs considering how little they've played this season, while Tremlett and Meaker will probably be out in search of rhythm. It's entirely possible that Adams may elect to play Burgess as an extra batsman, as five bowlers plus two allrounders in Winslade and Jewell could be considered excessive against a university side.
The makeup of the top order will be interesting. Jason Roy, captaining in this game, opened the batting in the two most recent Championship fixtures. However with three more established opening batsmen in the side in Burns, Harinath and the prodigiously talented Sibley he may slip down the order. I would imagine the Oxford bowlers won't be relishing Jason Roy coming out to bat at number four anyway.
Oxford's most recent fixture against County opponents was at the start of May when they were comprehensively beaten by Worcestershire. But as we showed against Cambridge a couple of years ago, you can look very foolish indeed if you underestimate MCCU sides. The Surrey players will be looking to the game to get some runs under their belts and wickets in the bag but they'll need to approach the game sensibly.
This match has fallen at a pretty convenient time for Surrey. With Wilson away for Ireland's ODI series with Pakistan and Ponting not due to arrive until June, a friendly followed by a couple of low-key YB40 matches might enable the players to regroup. A renewed effort to arrest the slide towards a losing habit is needed.