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Jason's County Championship Preview

With the start of the 2021 LV= Insurance County Championship now just days away, we sat down with Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr to discuss the teams that Somerset will face in the first part of the competition.

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Coach: Ian Harvey (interim)

Captain: Chris Dent

Last Year’s Performance: Fifth (Central Group)

2020 Leading Runscorer: Graeme van Buuren (244 @ 30.5)

2020 Leading Wicket Taker: Ryan Higgins (17 @ 23)

Overseas players: Dan Worrall (Australia – full season), Kraigg Brathwaite (West Indies – April 8–June 6)

“Gloucestershire have become a formidable force in white-ball cricket and we saw from last years contest that they have some really skillful players in red-ball cricket as well. We certainly respect them but we will be hoping to secure the local bragging rights again this year.”

HAMPSHIRE

Coach: Adrian Birrell

Captain: James Vince

Last year’s performance: Fourth (South Group)

2020 Leading runscorer: Joe Weatherley (263, 43.83)

2020 Leading wicket taker: Ian Holland (17, 17.47)

Overseas players: Mohammad Abbas (Pakistan 8 April-30 May), Kyle Abbott (South Africa, full season)

“Hampshire are a strong side and they’ve recruited well. Mohammad Abbas is a world class performer and with Kyle Abbott they have a really strong bowling attack. There are a lot of talented players in this competition and James Vince is certainly one of those. We saw that a couple of years ago when he got a double hundred against us. However, I would back our guys to cause problems for any batsman.”

LEICESTERSHIRE

Coach: Paul Nixon

Captain: Colin Ackermann

Last Year’s Performance: Fifth (North Group)

2020 Leading Runscorer: Colin Ackermann (379, 54.1)

2020 Leading Wicket Taker: Ben Mike (9, 31.0), Dieter Klein 9 (36.9)

Overseas players: Marcus Harris (Australia)

“One thing we won’t be doing is underestimating anyone. We pride ourselves on our attitude and respect for the game and we will continue to do that. It’s an exciting opportunity to face a side that we haven’t played for a while in this format. They have a good group of players who will be keen to perform against a Division One side. We know that they will be dangerous, but if we play to our capabilities I would back us against anyone in the country.”

MIDDLESEX

Coach: Stuart Law

Captain: Peter Handscomb

Last Year’s Performance: Third (South Group)

2020 Leading Runscorer: Nick Gubbins (350, 43.75)

2020 Leading Wicket Taker: Tim Murtagh (25, 12.72)

Overseas players: Peter Handscomb (Australia – full season)

“Whilst it was disappointing not to win the Bob Willis Trophy at Lord’s last year, I think we played some brilliant cricket there. We have some recent fond memories of the ground too of course. If we play the brand of cricket that we did there in September, then that will definitely stand us in good stead for that first game. Middlesex are a very good side, and they will also be looking to start the season well. Everyone wants to hit the ground running, so there will be a few nerves around both camps this week.

“Whenever the fixture list comes out you look for the fixtures at Lord’s. It’s one of the best, if not the best, ground in the world and everyone wants to play there. There’s an air around the ground of the unbelievable legends who have gone there before you. The lads are excited to get the first game of the season underway and to do it at Lord’s is extra special.”

SURREY

Coach: Vikram Solanki

Captain: Rory Burns

Last Year’s Performance: Fifth (South Group)

2020 Leading Runscorer: Jamie Smith (274 @ 30.44)

2020 Leading Wicket Taker: Amar Virdi (22 @ 25.90)

Overseas players: Hashim Amla (South Africa – full season), Kemar Roach (West Indies – April & May).

“Surrey are a star-studded side and they’ve recruited well. Hashim Amla and Kemar Roach are outstanding players, and they have a big squad. That means nothing though if you don’t perform over the four days. We’re looking forward to the challenge and it wasn’t that long ago that they were the champions. This will also potentially give us the opportunity to see the Overton twins playing against each other which will add a little bit of spice.”

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Next MatchLeicestershire V Somerset

22/04/2021 11:00 - Grace Road