Match Preview: Essex v Kent


Essex have named a 14-man squad for the County Championship fixture with Kent which starts on Monday at The Cloudfm Ground.

The squad includes all-rounder Ravi Bopara who has recovered from the toe injury that kept him out of the team that beat Nottinghamshire. Wicket-keeper Michael Pepper also returns to the squad after recovering from an appendix operation which has kept him out of the Essex side so far this year.

Following a defeat to Hampshire and a draw with Surrey in their first two Championship matches, Essex Head Coach Anthony McGrath admitted that the win against Nottinghamshire was very welcome, saying: “It was good to get that first win on the board and hopefully we can build on from that with a solid performance when we meet Kent and get our Championship campaign really rolling.

“I was particularly delighted for the players with that win because it was reward for all their hard work. I know the amount of effort that they put in to achieve that result both in their preparation ahead of the game and during the match.

“Although we won by eight wickets, I felt it was much tighter than that. The game faded and flowed but over the three days, I thought we deserved our victory. On a pitch that wasn’t easy to bat on, we probably had the three telling partnerships which ultimately led to victory.

“There are moments in any game where there are fine lines and you have to win those crucial moments and that’s what we did. Once Simon Harmer got to work in the Notts second innings it changed the complexion of things helping us to take 6 wickets for 16 runs and firmly retrieve the initiative for us.

“If you keep doing the right things, you’ll get the results you want and if we keep concentrating on our skills levels and keep to our beliefs, then I’m sure we’ll be successful.

“Kent will offer us another stiff challenge, but we are fully prepared for that and looking forward to the game.”

Essex squad to face Kent:

Ryan ten Doeschate (captain) (27)
Ravi Bopara (25)
Nick Browne (10)
Alastair Cook (26)
Sam Cook (16)
Simon Harmer (11)
Dan Lawrence (28)
Rishi Patel (12)
Michael Pepper (wicket-keeper) (19)
Jamie Porter (44)
Matt Quinn (94)
Peter Siddle (64)
Tom Westley (21)
Robbie White (wicket-keeper) (4)