South African international Lonwabo Tsotsobe is to wait before making his Essex debut following a family bereavement and he now expected to join up with the squad ahead of their third LV= County Championship match of the season.
He misses out on the trip to Lord's to play Middlesex, beginning on 14th April, and he is still waiting for a visa. He is then expected to make his home debut against Glamorgan from 26th April.
Essex, who bet365 make 9/2 to win the second division, will be looking to bounce back from a 57-run defeat to Kent in their opening match of the season and head coach Paul Grayson is confident they can do so against Middlesex.
"Although we lost to Kent, confidence isn’t dented by any means," he confirmed. "I’ll be very surprised if both Kent and ourselves are not pushing hard for promotion this year. It was disappointing of course to lose but we know that during the course of the season, there are going to be highs and lows and for now it’s all about coming back strongly against Middlesex.
"We’ll delay naming our line-up until the morning of the game when we have had a look at the pitch to see what the conditions are like. Lord’s normally swings around a bit early season so we might use a four-man seam attack and use Tom Westley’s off-spin as an option if we need to."
Essex (from): Billy Godleman, Alastair Cook, Jaik Mickleburgh, Ravi Bopara, Matt Walker, Tom Westley, James Foster, Tim Phillips, David Masters, Maurice Chambers, Chris Wright, Reece Topley
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