Cricket: Essex relishing visit of India
PUBLISHED: 18:00 24 July 2018
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Large crowds are expected at The Cloudfm County Ground over the next three days when Essex meet the world’s number one Test playing nation, India, in a three-day friendly match.
Having already been involved in a number of white-ball matches against England this summer and with the sweltering temperatures expected to continue throughout the fixture, the tourists will have no problems acclimatising and will be grateful of the final opportunity of meaningful red-ball practice ahead of their five-match Test series against England that commences at Edgbaston next Wednesday.
Essex head coach Anthony McGrath has welcomed the opportunity for his players to face such prestigious opponents, saying: “It’s great for the club to be able to host this fixture and the chance to see some of the world’s leading players on our own ground.
“It’s also a great opportunity for some of our young lads, who have done well in the second team to show what they can do at this level and push for a place in the first team during the last two months of the season.
“We’ve still got six Championship games left and the guys who will be playing against India will all be pushing for a spot in those Championship matches so we will be taking the match very seriously.
“Although the first of those games with Somerset is some way off, it’s our last chance to have some red-ball match practice before that game next month because ahead of that, we go back to T20 cricket.
“A number of players who we have selected in the squad have done really well for the second team, the likes of Michael Pepper, Paul Walter, Aron Nijjar, Aaron Beard and Rishi Patel, and it’s their reward for what they’ve achieved so far this season and also to show us where they are in terms of their progress so far.”
Essex have named a 13-man squad and Tom Westley takes over the captaincy from Ryan ten Doeschate, who is one of a number of first team regulars who are rested.
One player who could make his senior debut is Rishi Patel and if he should make the starting line-up, it would represent an early birthday present for the player who will celebrate his 20th birthday on Thursday.
Another product of the famous Essex Academy, the Chigwell-born player was educated at Brentwood School and is a right-hand batsman and leg-break bowler who plays his club cricket for Brentwood.
Essex: Tom Westley; Aaron Beard Nick Browne; Varun Chopra; Matt Coles; Matt Dixon; James Foster; Dan Lawrence; Aron Nijjar; Rishi Patel; Michael Pepper; Matt Quinn; Paul Walter.