Following the recent run of Vitality T20 Blast fixtures, Nottinghamshire now turn their attention back to the Specsavers County Championship with a hotly anticipated top of the table clash with Surrey.
Despite a disappointing week of results for Notts with home defeats to Durham and Leicestershire, four-day opener Jake Libby got his first taste of T20 cricket for the Outlaws.
The Cornishman made his 20 over debut for the Outlaws at Derbyshire before finishing unbeaten on 28* in the home defeat to Leicestershire but now Libby is looking forward to the return of the red ball.
“It’s been nice to get in a bit of hitting form for Sunday and to get a little bat at the end and do ok,” said Libby.
“It’s nice because it’s evolving my game at the same time trying to work on my white ball stuff and press my stake in that format.
“So it’s nice to take the pressure off red ball a little bit but batting in the middle – you can’t compare that to the nets.
“It’s a massive shame that we lost another game at home but it’s a bit of a break now back into the Champo stuff so we’re looking forward to that.”
Surrey will arrive at Trent Bridge top of the table and currently unbeaten in the Division One campaign.
But Libby is in good form himself after his first century of the season in the last County Championship outing against Worcestershire and the opener is eagerly anticipating the challenge that awaits Notts.
“It’s what you play the game for. It’s a great game first v second and we’ve got to get a result from this game,” he said.
“We’ve got some big names back for us, a great bowling attack and obviously great batting.
“Two really good teams going at it with some really good international cricket players so, it’s what dreams are made of really."
One of the key areas Notts have excelled in the County Championship is with their bowling, taking 23 bowling points so far this season, more than any other team in Division One.
Libby was keen to praise Andy Pick’s ‘cartel’, which should be boosted by the return of Stuart Broad, and highlights their importance in the clash with Surrey.
“The likes of Matt Milnes could be unlucky to get into that attack with Broady, Harry Gurney, Fletch and so on,” he said.
“We’ve got a hell of a team and a hell of a bowling attack and hopefully we can exploit that and take down Surrey.”
With a squad that includes the international talent of Morne Morkel, the Curran brothers and Jason Roy, as well as a number of youngsters making a name for themselves, such as Ollie Pope and Amar Virdi, the Londoners will be Notts’ biggest test to date on their return to Division One.
However, Libby is aware of the threat they pose and believes that the home side have every chance of picking up a result.
“They’re just a good all-round squad to be honest,” he said.
“I think batting and bowling they’ve got a good balance and some really big international players or international fringe players.
“We know it’s going to be a tough game, they’re obviously playing good cricket but so are we, so we’ve got to back ourselves and hopefully take them down on our home patch.”
Nottinghamshire squad to face Surrey: Jake Libby, Steven Mullaney (c), Stuart Broad, Riki Wessels, Harry Gurney, Matt Milnes, Luke Fletcher, Matt Carter, Samit Patel, Tom Moores, Jake Ball, Will Fraine, Billy Root.
Notts Outlaws play Lancashire Lightning on Friday July 27 from 6.30pm. Secure your seats on the gate, or by clicking here...