Peter Siddle will make his Essex return on Thursday when the side face Surrey at the Kia Oval in the second Specsavers County Championship match of 2019.

The Australian paceman starts his second stint with the Club having made seven appearances in the competition last year, when he endeared himself to the County with his attitude both on and off the field, whilst also proving a highly-effective signing taking 37 wickets.

The 34-year-old’s arrival will boost the spirits of his teammates who suffered defeat earlier this week against Hampshire in their opening Championship match of the campaign.

With regular stumper Adam Wheater likely to be out of action for six weeks following a thumb injury sustained at Hampshire, and with Michael Pepper recovering from appendix surgery, Essex have signed wicket-keeper Robbie White on loan from Middlesex for a two-month period.

The 23-year-old, who made his debut for his parent county in 2018, goes straight into the Essex squad for the match with Surrey.

Essex have good memories of their last trip to the Kia Oval when they overturned Surrey in a thrilling one-wicket victory that ended Surrey’s hopes of ending their triumphant season with an unblemished record in the competition.

Essex Head Coach Anthony McGrath is delighted to have 34-year-old Siddle back, and said: “We obviously missed him down at Hampshire, everyone knows that he is a top-quality bowler and a terrific influence on the field and around the dressing room.

“To be frank we were off it with both bat and ball against Hampshire. Fundamentally, if you put the opposition in, then you have to get the ball in the right areas more often than not and I thought we were off that by our standards.

“You’ve also got to get the runs on the board in the first innings particularly when the opposition are knocking up more than 500 against you. But all credit to Hampshire, they outplayed us and if we had managed to hold on for a draw on the last day, I think we would have been very lucky.

“We have the chance to bounce back quickly and there’s the perfect opportunity for us to do that against Champions Surrey on Thursday. I think it is the perfect game for us, we know the standards Surrey set last year, we’ve got to dust ourselves down, do a bit of thinking, get some good practice in and hopefully, we’ll see a different Essex come 11 o’clock on Thursday.”

Essex squad to face Surrey:

Ryan ten Doeschate, (Captain) (27)
Ravi Bopara (25)
Nick Browne (10)
Alastair Cook (26)
Sam Cook (16)
Simon Harmer (11)
Dan Lawrence (28)
Jamie Porter (44)
Matt Quinn (94)
Peter Siddle (64)
Tom Westley (21)
Robbie White (Wicket-keeper) (4)