Back to the Championship for Derbyshire today and a tough home game against Essex. The visitors have one of the best batting line ups in the division and we will need to be at our recent best to get a positive result from this game. However, Essex are in this division on merit so I doubt our boys will go in with any negative thoughts.
England men Alistair Cook and Ravi Bopara lead the Essex batting, while South African Lonwabo Tsotsobe leads the attack with the evergreen David Masters. Their 12 is:
James Foster, Alistair Cook, Mark Pettini, Jack Mickleburgh, Ravi Bopara, Matt Walker, Adam Wheater, Tim Phillips, David Masters, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Maurice Chambers and Chris Wright.
Derbyshire recall Ross Whiteley to the 12, while Mark Footitt and Tony Palladino are fit, the latter presumably very keen to impress against his former employers. My guess is that Azeem Rafiq and Whiteley will compete for the last place, much depending on the look of the wicket. The Derbyshire 12 is:
Wayne Madsen, Wes Durston, Usman Khawaja, Chesney Hughes, Dan Redfern, Greg Smith, Luke Sutton, Ross Whiteley, Azeem Rafiq, Tim Groenewald, Tony Palladino and Mark Footitt.
It should be a good game and a win to take us up the Championship table would reinforce the feel good factor around the County Ground at present.