Nottinghamshire’s hopes of returning to the top of Division One in the LV County Championship have been boosted by the availability of Ryan Sidebottom for their clash with Lancashire.

The England seamer was not picked for their Ashes warm-up fixture with Warwickshire this week, or for the England Lions who face Australia in a four-day game.

And the ECB have opted to give the 31-year-old match practice in an appetising meeting with Lancashire, who are currently mid-table with 62 points from six matches.

With off-spinner Jason Brown the only squad member currently out injured, Director of Cricket Mick Newell admits his bowling options are considerable.

With that in mind, he is set to return to the rotation system he first employed in 2004, where he switched his seam attack around over the course of the season to ensure his bowlers were fresh.

He said: “With Sidebottom available we are overstocked with options - I’ve got seven bowlers competing for four spots.

“But I’d rather have it that way than as it was a couple of years ago, when injuries and call-ups left us looking for players on loan.

“We’re going to draw up a programme for the bowlers and share the workload around. That potentially means we earmark certain games for certain players.

“For example, Trent Bridge is a ground that assists swing bowlers, so we will look to pick our best swing bowlers for the home games.

“I’ve explained it to the bowlers and while I know no-one likes to sit on the sidelines during matches, the players have to understand we can get the most out of them when they have the odd game off to rest.”

Newell is confident the team will be able to get straight back into the groove as they return to Championship cricket and added: “We are in an outstanding position but there is still a long, long way to go.

“To have won three out of our first five matches is very pleasing, given the way the weather usually affects the early summer.

“There’s two-thirds of the season left and a lot can change, but our next two home games with Lancashire and Durham are certainly important.”

Notts are likely to go into the game with all three senior new ball bowlers playing - Sidebottom, Darren Pattinson and Charlie Shreck.

David Hussey slots into the middle order in place of compatriot Adam Voges, and skipper Chris Read is expected to shake off the virus which meant he missed the final Twenty20 Cup match on Sunday.

Will Jefferson, Bilal Shafayat, Mark Wagh, Samit Patel, David Hussey, Ali Brown, Chris Read (capt/wkt), Mark Ealham, Ryan Sidebottom, Darren Pattinson, Charlie Shreck, Luke Fletcher.