Captain: Marcus Trescothick
Overseas player: Alviro Petersen (first half), Abdur Rehman (second half)
In: Alviro Petersen (Essex)
Out: Vernon Philander (overseas)
Somerset had appalling luck with injuries in 2012 and that can surely not be repeated. Even with bad luck, they still managed strong runs in both the LV= County Championship and Clydesdale Bank 40. With a fair wind, success in all competitions in 2013 is a real possibility. They boast a strong mix of young and experienced players and have two good overseas signings lined up. Alviro Petersen will do his best to replace some of Nick Compton’s 2013 runs, while Marcus Trescothick will hope to feature for considerably more of the season.
Predictions - CCD1: 2nd (2nd in Div One), YB40: Runners-up (3rd in Group B)
Main man: Marcus Trescothick is Somerset through and through and has stated his aim of playing for the county in his 40th year. He will be eager to bounce back from a 2012 that was thwarted by injury and will provide a reassuring presence at the top of the order in all forms of cricket. A 1000 Championship runs is expected, 1500 would not be a surprise.
Young player to watch: Jamie Overton is seen as a real star in the making. Alongside Essex’s Reece Topley, he bowled with real hostility during last August’s Under-19 world cup. He also picked up 12 first-team wickets for the Cidermen in 2012 at the none-too-shoddy average of 27.42.
Batsmen: Arul Suppiah (RHB/SLA), Marcus Trescothick (LHB/RM), Alviro Petersen (RHB/OB), Nick Compton (RHB/OB), Alex Barrow (RHB/OB), James Hildreth (RHB/RM), Chris Jones (RHB/OB).
All-Rounders: Lewis Gregory (RHB/RFM), Craig Meschede (RHB/RMF), Peter Trego (RHB/RM), Craig Overton (RHB/RMF).
Wicket-keepers: Jos Buttler (RHB), Craig Kieswetter (RHB).
Bowlers: Alfonso Thomas (RHB/RFM), Jamie Overton (HB/RFM), Adam Dibble (RHB/RMF), Gemaal Hussain (RHB/RMF), Steve Kirby (RHB/RFM), George Dockrell (RHB/SLA), Max Waller (RHB/LB), Abdur Rehman (LHB/SLA), Jack Leach (LHB/SLA).
Captain: Graeme Smith
Overseas players: Graeme Smith (all apart from June and July), Ricky Ponting (remainder)
In: Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting (both overseas), Gary Keedy (Lancashire), Vikram Solanki (Worcestershire)
Out: Tom Lancefield (released), Rory Hamilton-Brown, Chris Jordan (both Sussex), Matthew Spriegel (Northamptonshire), Murali Kartik, Jacques Rudolph (both overseas), Tom Maynard (deceased)
The progress of Surrey in 2013 will interest many. They have a squad that has a large number of old players and a large number of young players with few in between at the age when players are supposed to be at their peak. Whether each group of players can extract the best out of each other, or whether the dressing room will be divided along age grounds remains to be seen. However, the former is the more likely scenario as, with great cricketing brains like Graeme Smith and Vikram Solanki on board, creating a close-knit squad shouldn’t be too difficult. The bowling attack will benefit from the increased presence of Chris Tremlett, while the batting will boast either Ricky Ponting or Smith for much of the season.
Predictions - CCD1: 4th (7th in Div One), YB40: Group stage (2nd in Group B)
Main man: It would be easy to say Graeme Smith, who will have to lead from the front with both bat and ball, but Chris Tremlett could prove vital to the bowling attack. Now almost back to full fitness following a long injury lay-off, he will lead Surrey’s attack in the Championship unless England come calling.
Young player to watch: The name Dominic Sibley has been whispered around The Oval for some time now. While 2013 may be too soon for the 17 year-old, there is no denying that he is prodigiously talented. During the matches against South Africa Under-19s this winter, he passed 50 on four occasions, converting one of them into a century as he carried his bat from the top of the order.
Batsmen: Graeme Smith (LHB/OB), Arun Harinath (LHB/OB), Vikram Solanki (RHB/OB), Ricky Ponting (RHB/RM), Kevin Pietersen (RHB/OB), Jason Roy (RHB), Dominic Sibley (RHB/OB).
All-Rounders: Zander de Bruyn (RHB/RM), Zafar Ansari (LHB/SLA).
Wicket-keepers: Rory Burns (LHB), Gary Wilson (RHB), Steven Davies (LHB).
Bowlers: Stuart Meaker (RHB/RF), Chris Tremlett (RHB/RFM), Tom Jewell (RHB/RFM), Matthew Dunn (LHB/RFM), Jade Dernbach (RHB/RFM), George Edwards (RHB/RFM), Jon Lewis (RHB/RM), Tim Linley (RHB/RMF), Gareth Batty (RHB/OB), Gary Keedy (LHB/SLA), Freddie van den Bergh (RHB/SLA).
Captain: Ed Joyce, Chris Nash (when Joyce away with Ireland)
Overseas player: Steve Magoffin
In: Harry Finch, Callum Jackson (both youth), Chris Jordan, Rory Hamilton-Brown (both Surrey)
Out: Murray Goodwin (Glamorgan), Will Adkin, Kirk Wernars, Naved Arif (all released), Andrew Hodd (Yorkshire)
Sussex are another club who have recruited well, with Chris Jordan and Rory Hamilton-Brown both eager to flourish away from the more pressurised atmosphere at The Oval. They are always a strong contender in limited-overs competitions and should be again this year. In the Championship, the bowling will again rely heavily on the experienced Steve Magoffin and that may prove a weakness.
Predictions - CCD1: 8th (4th in Div One), YB40: Semi-Finalists (Semi-Finalists)
Main man: Steve Magoffin was quite simply superb for Sussex last year as they used him almost exclusively in Championship cricket to great effect. From 15 matches, he took 57 wickets at an average of 20.05 as well as chipping in with some useful contributions with the bat.
Young player to watch: Matt Machan played only two first-class matches last year, but could come into his own in 2013, particularly in limited-overs cricket where he is virtually an all-rounder thanks to his off-spin. He spent some of the winter playing for Scotland against Afghanistan in the UAE, where he enjoyed some success.
Batsmen: Chris Nash (RHB/OB), Rory Hamilton-Brown (RHB/OB), Michael Yardy (LHB/SLA), Ed Joyce (LHB), Joe Gatting (RHB/OB), Matt Machan (LHB/OB), Luke Wells (LHB/OB).
All-Rounders: Harry Finch (RHB/RMF), Luke Wright (RHB/RMF), Chris Jordan (RHB/RFM).
Wicket-keepers: Callum Jackson (RHB), Ben Brown (RHB), Matt Prior (RHB).
Bowlers: James Anyon (LHB/RFM), Lewis Hatchett (LHB/LMF), Amjad Khan (RHB/RFM), Chris Liddle (RHB/LFM), Steve Magoffin (LHB/RFM), Will Beer (RHB/LB), Monty Panesar (LHB/SLA), Michael Rippon (RHB/SLC).
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