After a dramatic final-session win over Lancashire, Nottinghamshire continue their LV= County Championship campaign with a trip to face Middlesex at Lord's.
Wednesday victory was the first time Nottinghamshire have taken 20 wickets in a match since April last year, and Director of Cricket Mick Newell emphasised the importance of that win.
"The players took a lot out of that win, it would have been a sickener to have lost against Lancashire and hopefully it has built a little confidence to take forward into this weekend,” he said.
“The game took a quite a lot out of the players, so we’ve done slightly less today than we would have done two days before a match.
“Now, everyone is ready to play again, and we have a couple more fit players to choose from.”
Nottinghamshire will be boosted by the invclusion of overseas signing Peter Siddle into the squad after his arrival at Trent Bridge during midweek, and the return to full fitness of batsman James Taylor. However, Andre Adams and Ajmal Shahzad continue to be sidelined.
“Andre and Ajmal will both need to play in the second team and prove themselves as fully fit before they come back into the first team,” said Newell.
“We don’t want to rush people back, but we have Peter Siddle and James Taylor back into the fold.
“James Taylor is fully fit, it was an injury which would have been a lot longer term if he had been a bowler, as it was in his side muscles, but he’s available.”
“If we get four dry days at Lord’s I would expect to see a result, and it'll be important for us to get on the right side of that." - Mick Newell.
Taylor’s side strained ruled him out of Nottinghamshire’s clash against Lancashire, as well as the county’s pre-season fixtures against Oxford MCCU and Northants. It followed a winter of excellent form, which saw him record his career-best score of 242 for the England Lions in Sri Lanka.
“Everyone wants to start the season well,” said Newell.
“James is aware of the importance of the next six weeks with regard to trying to get into England teams at various levels.
“He is one of a number of players will be looking to start well and make as good an impression as possible.”
Nottinghamshire’s bowlers made the most of seam-friendly conditions at Trent Bridge in their victory over Lancashire, Luke Fletcher, Jake Ball, Harry Gurney and Andy Carter all finding movement in the pitch. In contrast, Middlesex struggled at Hove, losing to Sussex by an innings and 127 runs. While confident ahead of the fixture, Newell expressed his desire to make the most of the early-season conditions.
“It is important to keep momentum going,” he said.
“If you get dry weather at this stage of the year there is a high chance of a positive result, the pitches are still going to be bowler-friendly.
“If we get four dry days at Lord’s I would expect to see a result and it’ll be important for us to get on the right side of that.
I would think the conditions would be very similar to Trent Bridge, perhaps with a slightly slower pitch.
“The outfield is likely to be lush, which will keep the shine on the ball and make it swing so I would expect a similar-scoring game.
“It’ll be interesting to see what team they’ll pick, they left out their spinner at Hove and played an extra batsman. That didn’t work, so how that’ll affect the balance of their team will be interesting.
“Our team will have the same sort of formula, it’ll be a case of putting the right players into that eleven.”
Nottinghamshire squad to face Middlesex (from): Steven Mullaney, Phil Jaques, Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Samit Patel, Riki Wessels, Chris Read +(c), Peter Siddle, Luke Fletcher, Jake Ball, Andy Carter, Harry Gurney.