Derbyshire and Northamptonshire meet in the County Championship for the first time since late 2012 as both sides look to build on positive starts to the new season.
Since that game, both sides have been promoted and immediately relegated
from Division One, Derbyshire in 2013 and Northamptonshire last year, with
both now back in the second tier looking to find their feet once more.
Derbyshire may have suffered a defeat to Lancashire in the opening game, but are expected to challenge for promotion, and followed that defeat with a
thumping win at Gloucestershire before a heavily rain-affected draw at
Cardiff against Glamorgan last week.
Martin Guptil may have joined up with the New Zealand squad, but they are
boosted by the arrival of Hashim Amla as a more than useful replacement.
Northants meanwhile have also started positively following a dismal 2014,
having the better of a draw against Gloucestershire before ending a 21 game
wait for a Championship win at Leicester.
They also remain unbeaten having contested an evenly matched draw with
Lancashire last week. Captain Alex Wakely has challenged the top order to
start contributing more runs, with the final five wickets more than doubling
the score in four of their five innings this season.
Martin Guptil’s runs were crucial for Derbyshire in the opening two rounds
of fixtures, and the hosts will be hoping that Hashim Amla can land on his
feet. The number 3 ranked test batsman in the world, if in form could make
light work of division two attacks.
Stephen Peters was almost out the Wantage Road door at the end of last
season having been stripped of the captaincy after a disappointing campaign.
However the 35 decided to see out the final three years of his contract and
has looked in good touch, with three consecutive half centuries opening the
batting, and will be looking to turn that into a big one this week.
Hashim Amla is set to make his Derbyshire debut as a replacement for Martin Guptil who is with the New Zealand squad, while bowlers Tony Palladino and Tom Taylor have returned to the squad having been rested for the game at Glamorgan last week, with Ben Cotton missing out.
Wes Durston remains on the sidelines with injury, while Billy Godleman
serves the second match of his suspension for a dangerous throw against
Gloucestershire in the opening game.
Derbyshire (from): Ben Slater, Chesney Hughes, Hashim Amla, Wayne Madsen, Scott Elstone, Shiv Thakor, Alex Hughes, Harvey Hosein, Matt Critchley, Tony Palladino, Tom Taylor, Ben Cotton, Mark Footitt.
Northamptonshire welcome back newly England capped David Willey into the
squad after he was rested last week, while Kyle Coetzer is also added to the
11 who drew with Lancashire. Richard Levi suffered a slight dislocation in
that game but is included in the squad.
Northamptonshire (from): Richard Levi, Stephen Peters, Alex Wakely (c), Rob Newton, Rob Keogh, Adam Rossington, Josh Cobb, Steven Crook, Rory
Kleinveldt, Olly Stone, Mohammed Azharullah, David Willey, Kyle Coetzer.