Nottinghamshire continue their bustling season with a trip to Headlingly to face Yorkshire, who are currently second in Division One of the LV= County Championship, only five points behind table-topping Middlesex.
Following rain-affected contests against Durham and Sussex, Assistant Manager Wayne Noon has readied his side for the match, which will see two teams looking to seal silverware pit their wits against one another.
We identified this period with about five or six games in row against teams who could all win the Championship as incredibly important,” he said.
“Sussex were one of those sides and we outplayed them. To get full bonus points on a pretty flat wicket and to set the game up the way we did with Alex playing unbelievably was very pleasing. Who knows what could have happened if he had had a full day?
“We can’t help the weather and we have a tough trip to the leaders, who will have good strength in depth, followed by Middlesex the following week.
‘These are matches that we saw coming, and saw their importance, and it’ll be hard work but we’ll be ready for the challenge.
“Within a couple more games the table will begin to take shape. Northants have struggled since they’ve come up; they’re still looking for their first win, as are Durham who won it last year.
“Lancashire are battling a bit but apart from that every other team is capable of winning it, and they’re the teams we have to beat.”
Yorkshire will look to this fixture to overtake Middlesex at the table’s summit, having played one match less than their southern rivals, but the Outlaws will cross the county border in good form, and will hope that Samit Patel and Alex Hales will continue their fine form with the bat.
“We have the most batting points in the country, our batters against their bowlers will be a great battle,” said Noon.
“Liam Plunkett is away with England so the pace aspect of their game will have gone, and Ryan Sidebottom hasn’t played in a few weeks so there are question marks over his fitness for the weekend.
“That said, Jack Brooks is the leading wicket taker in the country, he’s had an excellent start to the season sad Bresnan may have a point to prove after being left out of all the England squads.
“It won’t be easy but they’ll be looking at us, they’ll see our formidable batting lineup and our bowlers are just hitting their straps as well.”
Nottinghamshire will be forced into one change from the fixture at Sussex, with Stuart Broad joining the England Test squad to face Sri Lanka, while Yorkshire will have to play without Gary Ballance & Joe Root, as well as in-form bowler Liam Plunkett.
“We’re in a job to produce players for England, so to see the likes of Samit missing out, there was an outside chance for Ready and Hales is always on the radar, and Lumby has been left out so from a Notts perspective we’ve been lucky,” said Noon.
“From a coaching point of view I would like to see all of those guys playing for their country. Plunkett was the one whose availability we had question marks over in our preparation, he’s been named and that is a bonus for us.
“We obviously knew that Gary Ballance and Joe Root were going to be there, as did Yorkshire as well.
“They have a good squad and it’ll test them but theylll be competing at the end of the season.”
Nottinghamshire squad to face Yorkshire (from): Steven Mullaney, Phil Jaques, Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Samit Patel, Alex Hales, Riki Wessels, Chris Read, Peter Siddle, Ajmal Shahzad, Andre Adams, Luke Fletcher