The hosts at the Ageas Bowl this week are looking to secure their first win of the season while Nottinghamshire travel south to secure their second win and steady their campaign.
The visitors opened the 2016 account with a win but have then found themselves on unsteady ground with a couple of draws and couple of losses.
As with all the teams, the weather has played a major role thus far which will have contributed to these two teams having so many draws on their accounts but this week’s forecast is more settled (after Sunday) so there should be plenty of time to secure a result.
Hampshire have been hampered by injury problems so far this season with Chris Wood and Fidel Edwards at least out for the whole of the season and now their captain, James Vince, is away featuring his international debut. Will Smith has been promoted to captain for the match and the squad are looking strong enough in all departments to offer a decent competition against title competitors Nottinghamshire.
The visiting team, whilst having the infamous Stuart Broad in their ranks, have not been affected to significantly by the start of the international season. Jake Ball did receive a call-up into the England squad but was not selected in the final XI and the powers that be at the ECB have agreed to release him for at least two days of this meeting at the Ageas Bowl.
Michael Carberry is coming into this match on the back of a very good century against Middlesex a few weeks ago. Whilst his scores in the opening matches of the season have been far from head turners as he struggled to get out of the teens, he held his head whilst wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end and struck 107 from 211 balls. He can be vulnerable to being caught behind or in the slips early on but if he can push through those first overs, he’s likely to stay put and score big.
Having spent some time with local Division Two team Derbyshire, Luke Fletcher has returned to his home county with fire in his belly. Nottinghamshire’s recent Specsavers County Championship clash with Warwickshire ended in defeat for them but Fletcher secured seven wickets in the match. Whilst he admittedly had a leaner time whilst on loan with Derbyshire, he is a constant threat and if he’s thrown the new ball alongside Jake Ball, the Hampshire openers could be in for a rough ride.
Will Smith steps in as captain while James Vince is off on international duty in the north and Sean Ervine returns to Hampshire’s squad following a hand injury. Brad Wheal and Tom Alsop come into the squad as cover for those absentees.
Chris Wood has been ruled out for the season and Fidel Edwards, Gareth Berg and Ryan Stevenson continue to be away with injuries.
Hampshire squad: Will Smith (C), Jimmy Adams, Tom Alsop, Gareth Andrew, Tino Best, Michael Carberry, Mason Crane, Liam Dawson, Sean Ervine, Ryan McLaren, James Tomlinson, Brad Wheal, Adam Wheater.
Jake Libby returns to the squad after a stint with Northamptonshire and Luke Fletcher will feature in his second match since returning from a loan stint with Derbyshire.
Nottinghamshire squad: Chris Read (C), Jake Ball, Mathew Carter, Dan Christian, Luke Fletcher, Harry Gurney, Brett Hutton, Jake Libby, Michael Lumb, Steven Mullaney, Samit Patel, Brendan Taylor, Riki Wessels.
Weather and conditions
There is a significant threat of rain on Sunday and late on Monday evening which could present a problem on Tuesday morning with a wet outfield but after that, it looks bright and breezy on the south coast. Temperature wise it could prove a little nippy with highs of just 15.
Date: 22nd-25th May 2016
Ground: The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
Umpires: Nick Cook, Jeremy Lloyd
Odds (SkyBet): Hampshire 11/8, Nottinghamshire 4/7