Match Preview: Essex v Somerset


Essex meet Somerset on Sunday at The Cloudfm County Ground in what promises to be a mouth-watering clash.

The visitors are currently top of Division One and are so far unbeaten in the competition, having won five of their six matches.

Essex have named a 13-man squad for Sunday’s match which includes Peter Siddle, who is expected to have recovered from the niggle that forced him to miss the win over Hampshire earlier this week.

However, Sam Cook is now an absentee. The 21-year-old right-arm seamer sustained a side injury whilst bowling during that match and has undergone a scan to discover the full extent of the injury.

Essex Head Coach Anthony McGrath said: “Sunday’s match is a massive game for us. Like ourselves, they are winning games and they have been the form team of the season so far in both red-ball and 50-overs cricket.

“They have also won in low-scoring games, so it looks to be a great game in prospect between two in-form teams who are now going head-to-head.

“We’ve got four games in as many weeks which is going to be a big ask on the lads and we are going to need all the squad.”

McGrath will hope that off-spinner Simon Harmer can continue his rich vein of form that has seen him bag 42 wickets this year in the Championship, with 31 of those in just three matches at Chelmsford.

McGrath added: “He is an exceptional talent, he’s a magic man and the complete spinner. He is dangerous on any surface and if he gets the slightest bit of encouragement, he seems to exploit the conditions expertly.

“Each batsman will have their own ideas of how to play him, but he seems to have an answer for most of them.

“It won’t always be like that of course, we know things go in cycles but, at the moment, he’s hot and long may that continue.”

Essex squad to face Somerset:

Ryan ten Doeschate (27) (captain)
Aaron Beard (14)
Ravi Bopara (25)
Nick Browne (10)
Varun Chopra (6)
Alastair Cook (26)
Simon Harmer (11)
Dan Lawrence (28)
Jamie Porter (44)
Matt Quinn (94)
Peter Siddle (64)
Tom Westley (21)
Adam Wheater (31) (wicket-keeper)