It is a shame that Middlesex will once again be without Nick Compton, although the fact Stevie Eskinazi scored 82 and 45 batting at 3 v Hampshire means we are under no pressure to get Compo back before he is fully fit. However, the fact Compo made 107 v Kent 2nd XI
suggests he is indeed at or near full fitness. There are worse headaches to have!
Essex have named a 13-man squad for this match
consisting of Ryan ten Doeschate (27) Captain, Adam Wheater (31) Wicket-keeper, Varun Chopra (6), Nick Browne (10), Simon Harmer (11), Neil Wagner (13), Aaron Beard (14), Tom Westley (21), Ravi Bopara (25), Alastair Cook (26), Dan Lawrence (28), Jamie Porter (44) and Matt Quinn (94).
The fact we have added Ravi Patel to our squad while Essex have not included Ashar Zaidi despite him taking three wickets in last week’s win v Somerset at Taunton suggests the two teams have contrasting views on the likelihood of the pitch taking spin. Or it could just be down to the doubts about Ollie Rayner’s fitness. The fact there hasn’t been much rain recently, and I don’t think any is forecast during this match, must help the chances of the pitch taking spin.
Cook will enter this match 30 away from 20,000 first-class runs, so there ought to be a big cheer if it is achieved during this match.
Porter is known to much of our squad, as he came through our youth system.
Toby Roland-Jones has spoken to to the Hampstead & Highgate Express
, while Nick Gubbins has spoken to ecb.co.uk
For the first three days of this match (yet interestingly not for Monday), ”the roadway behind the Warner Stand will not be available for use”
, which I imagine means that like for most of last season, people wishing to travel between the Pavilion and Grand stand will have to walk the long way round, while it will not be possible to walk a full circuit. Hopefully people will be able to perform those activities once the new Warner stand is completed.
It seems that there will be precisely one Winsky at each day of the match, as Sunday is the only day I can attend and the only day Lower Mound can’t