Essex Eagles travel to Taunton on Wednesday to face Somerset Sabres in the Friends Provident t20 who are past winners of the competition.
Essex Eagles are keen to get back to winning-ways in the Friends Provident t20 - with twelve group games left there are plenty of games remaining to secure a place in the quarter finals. Furthermore, James Foster has now taken over the role of captain for the remainder of the Twenty20 season.
The hosts have only made it past the group stages on two occasions although that did result in a final appearance on both occasions when they were runners-up last year having previously lifted the title in 2005.
The Eagles have injury concerns over three first team players although they are hoping that Alastair Cook will have recovered from a back problem in time to play his first match in the competition this summer. Jaik Mickleburgh missed Sunday’s defeat at Lord’s with a hip problem and is unlikely to have recovered ahead of Wednesday’s match whilst Graham Napier’s lower back problem is likely to keep him out of action for a further week.
Essex First Team Head Coach Paul Grayson has named a 13-man squad with Alastair Cook and David Masters added to the side defeated by Middlesex. Speaking to the Essex cricket website, he previews the game against Somerset but firstly reflected on his teams defeat yesterday at Middlesex:
“Ryan (ten Doeschate) hit an outstanding hundred and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side but we just seem to be short of our complete game at the moment. Either our batting is falling short and our bowling is good or vice-versa, so hopefully, starting with the match against Somerset, we can both bat and bowl well. We know that they are a very good side and have some big-hitters, so we need to be at our best.
“There were parts of Sunday’s game with Middlesex that were quite pleasing but the thing that cost us was our lack of discipline with the ball. It’s not just the extra balls it gives the batting side and the runs from them, I think I counted 8 times on Sunday when the extra ball went to the boundary.
“In Twenty20 cricket, you can’t afford to be giving the opposition another three overs. So that’s an area of concern and something we that needs correcting.
“But we’ll keep working hard, stick together, keep the belief, keep doing the right things and hopefully things will turn for us."
Squad: James Foster (Captain and wicket-keeper), Ravi Bopara, Alastair Cook, John Maunders, Grant Flower, Ryan ten Doeschate, Scott Styris, Matt Walker, Tim Phillips, David Masters, Danish Kaneria, Chris Wright, Maurice Chambers.