Nottinghamshire will look to bounce back from their NatWest T20 Blast defeat to Worcestershire Rapids by hosting the LV= County Champions, Durham, at Trent Bridge.
Opening batsman Phil Jaques has spent this week preparing for the fixture with the red ball, and the Australian is well aware of the task at hand.
“Durham are a good side with some good players. Graham Onions is a class act, he’s a proven performer in county cricket,” he said.
“He has had a couple of big years and he’s unlucky not to be in an England shirt with the numbers he puts out.
“We’re going to have to be on our game if we’re batting in those first few hours and every time he has the new ball in his hand.
“You’re always in a good contest, against a competitive team. You have to be prepared to sit and absorb pressure.
“If you go out playing like a millionaire, you’ll come back a pauper." - Phil Jaques
“If you go out playing like a millionaire, you’ll come back a pauper. You have to make sure you’re concentrating over four days.”
Jaques has been an ever-improving presence at the top of Nottinghamshire’s order since his arrival at Trent Bridge ahead of the 2014 season. An experienced figure in county cricket, he registered an unbeaten 150 in Nottinghamshire’s draw with Somerset.
“I feel great at the moment, it’s as good as I’ve felt in the last few years,” he said.
“I’m fit, in a good place with my cricket and the scores are coming for me. I’ve acclimatised to the conditions, a new dressing room and surroundings.
“It’s a challenging place to bat at times but Trent Bridge is a great place to play. You only have to look at the people who had played here before, some of the greats of the game have played their cricket at Notts.
“I can speak for the rest of the team when I say we all love walking out to play at Trent Bridge.
“I feel like I’ve been here my whole career. They’re a great bunch of guys, with a great sense of humour and it’s a fun place to play. It’s a competitive environment, everyone is jostling for spots and it’s healthy.”
Nottinghamshire’s batsmen have been ably backed up by their bowlers in recent weeks, standout performances from across the attack setting the county in good stead.
“We know if we can post a half-decent score then our bowlers will perform afterwards,” said Jaques.
“We’re likely to have Stuart Broad coming in this week, he’s another world class performer, and it makes the bowlers want to play out of their skins because they know they’re playing for places.
“Having people like Ajmal, Peter and Andre, Fletch and Carts is a bonus for any team. It’s a solid group of fast bowlers all fighting for the same cause.
“We have a long way to go before starting to talk about silverware, but with the people we have its certainly not beyond the realms of possibility to be there or thereabouts towards the end of the season, and what better way of proving that than going out there and beating the champions.”
Nottinghamshire squad to face Durham (from): Steven Mullaney, Phil Jaques, Michael Lumb, James Taylor, Samit Patel, Alex Hales, Riki Wessels, Chris Read, Peter Siddle, Ajmal Shahzad, Stuart Broad, Andre Adams.