Well, that's our games against the division winners (for so shall they be) Lancashire out of the way for the summer. Now, in game six of the championship summer, we play the return against Gloucestershire. It is hard to get away from the opinion that these fixtures weren't drawn up by a computer that was close to having a duvet day...
Tillakaratne Dilshan makes his championship debut and will slot in at four. His presence also gives us an additional spin option, so David Wainwright drops out of the squad. The decision on the day is whether one of the main seamers drops out or Matt Critchley does so, in this squad:
My guess is that one of the seamers makes way. With Shiv Thakor as a fine option, we don't really need five and Critchley has done little wrong. Indeed, he seems to have become lead spinner at the age of eighteen, which is both exciting and worrying in equal measure. David Wainwright seems to have lost his 'oomph' while Tom Knight would appear to be considered a work in progress, so far as his bowling is concerned. Talented a cricketer as young Master Critchley is, I wonder if he is ready for such a role at his age. Mind you, his current average of 93 with the bat is a strong argument for inclusion anyway and we are hardly awash with viable alternatives...
As for Gloucestershire, they show several changes from Bristol, with Michael Klinger back instead of fellow Aussie Peter Handscomb, while Kiwi Kieron Noema-Barnett is also dropped.
Chris Dent, Will Tavaré, Michael Klinger, Gareth Roderick
(wkt), Hamish Marshall, Geraint Jones (wkt), Benny
Howell, Jack Taylor, David Payne, Matt Taylor, Liam
Norwell, Craig Miles.
They are a decent batting side but we have already shown that they are beatable, albeit down to a remarkable Kiwi effort. The Derby wickets appear to be good cricket tracks and there is always early morning help for the bowlers.
We can win this.