The best four-day game of the summer so far was that between these two sides at Chesterfield, a few short weeks ago. Though it seems an eternity, with all the razzmatazz of the T20 in between times.
Derbyshire travel up to the Riverside for this game with a side that is heavily focused on youth and opportunity. A thirteen-man squad has been announced, which reads:
There's no Gary Wilson, who is ill, so Godleman and Madsen are the experienced, guiding hands in an otherwise youthful batting line-up.
There is opportunity for both Ben Slater and Harvey Hosein, two players of unquestionable talent, to make a case for a regular place in the side for another year. Luis Reece and Matt Critchley have fought their way into the side and done well, so the challenge for Ben and Harvey is to produce the figures required to do the same.
It is good to see Hardus Viljoen and Imran Tahir in the same four-day attack for the first time, and surely we will take a belated opportunity to unleash Hardus and Will Davis together? Logic suggests that Harry Podmore will play too, as there seems little point in taking a lad on loan, simply to carry drinks. Let's get him out there in support of the two quicks, with Tahir ready to be unleashed at the other end and see how it goes.
For me, it is as exciting a side as we have fielded this summer, but the challenge is now for those involved to make it exciting when the action starts.
Our hosts have named a strong squad that has won two and drawn three of its last five games in the county championship. Skippered by county legend Paul Collingwood, they will be a stern test and enter the match with this squad:
Paul Collingwood (c), Keaton Jennings, Tom Latham, Cameron Steel, Jack
Burnham, Graham Clark, Michael Richardson (wk), Ryan Pringle, Paul
Coughlin, James Weighell, Matthew Potts, Chris Rushworth, Graham Onions.
With the first three days set to be cloudy, the seam bowlers may well fancy their chances and I wouldn't expect a game of high scores.
We'll see soon enough.
Give it a good go, lads.