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Warwickshire to field strong team for Somerset friendly





Warwickshire first-team coach Jim Troughton.
Warwickshire first-team coach Jim Troughton.

WARWICKSHIRE'S pre-season matches will belatedly get underway on Tuesday when they start a two-day friendly against Somerset at Edgbaston, writes Brian Halford.

Originally scheduled for three days, the match has been trimmed to two after Monday's play was cancelled last week due to the after-effects of the recent icy weather.

Weather permitting, the game will start at 11am on Tuesday with the Bears fielding a strong team, captained for the first time by vice-skipper Dominic Sibley as Jeetan Patel is still in New Zealand in the thick of Wellington's challenge for the Plunket Shield title.

With places in the team for the championship opener at home to Sussex on 13th April still up for grabs, the players know that those who impress over the next two days can only enhance their chances of selection.

"We've got an idea of what the team will be against Sussex, of course, although those conversation will really advance when the captain arrives," Troughton said.

"But these pre-season games are an important barometer of where the guys are at and any player who hits the ground running will only do himself the power of good.

"It's a shame we lost the first day but hopefully we will be good to go tomorrow because the weather is uncertain for next week when we're due to play Durham MCCU. It will be great to get some full match practice in this week if we can.

"Now down to a two-day game, it will probably be one side batting 60 overs and bowling 30 on the first day and the other way round on the second.

"But it will be proper practice, we'll pick a strong side and I know the players are really looking forward to getting out in the middle at Edgbaston again. It will be Dominic's first time as captain and he's excited about that."

Warwickshire hope that wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose will be involved behind the stumps following winter surgery on a longstanding hip problem.

"Amby's been in rehab after his op, and there is always an element of concern in that situation, but he was batting in the nets last week and looking good," said Troughton. "Hopefully he'll be okay but we have to be careful not to bring him back too soon."

Play gets underway at 11am with entry free for all members and supporters.



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