Lancashire and Yorkshire are set to renew their Roses rivalry just two days on from the pulsating clash between the pair in the Vitality Blast.
Liam Livingstone’s side edged to a one-run win over Yorkshire at Old Trafford in a 14-over contest that thrilled a near-capacity crowd.
For this one, the crowd will be more sparse, the ball and clothing has changed colour and it will last a lot longer. But the rivalry remains the same.
It’s the first Roses clash in the Championship this season and, while it seems utterly bewildering to drop a round of four-day fixtures into the middle of the T20 window, this is a very important fixture for both sides.
The pair find themselves at the wrong end of the Division One table, with Lancashire three points clear of their cross-Pennine rivals in 6th but having played a game more.
The Red Rose have won just one of their eight matches so far, that coming away at Nottinghamshire back in May and they are in desperate need for an upturn in their Championship form.
Yorkshire will feel the same, but will be aware that a victory here, coupled with their game in hand, would really strengthen their position in the top flight. Defeat in their last red-ball game against Surrey at Scarborough was a real disappointment to the white rose and they will hope to bounce back in style.
It’s set to be a star-studded contest as England’s Test players are all available in preparation for the upcoming series against India.
James Anderson and Jos Buttler will be in the Lancashire ranks, while Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root are present for Yorkshire – who can also call on one of the world’s best batsmen in New Zealand’s Kane Williamson who has joined as their overseas player.
It will be interesting to see how Lancashire shuffle their bowling unit to accommodate James Anderson, but he will be crucial to their chances here against Yorkshire’s superb batting lineup. The seamer gets few opportunities to represent his county but was instrumental in securing their one win so far at Trent Bridge and is their key weapon ahead of this Roses clash.
Joe Root almost guided Yorkshire to an incredible win in the T20 Blast on Friday and goes into this one in superb form. Back-to-back ODI centuries mean he’s back in good touch but he mist be anxious ahead of the Test series against India. His record as captain of the Test side is patchy and Root needs to have a strong series against counterpart Virat Kohli. A strong Roses display would be the perfect springboard.
Graham Onions, Joe Mennie, Tom Bailey and Toby Lester – fresh from his T20 heroics – will battle it out for maybe just two seam bowling spots alongside James Anderson. Haseeb Hameed will hope to keep his place in the Championship side after solid displays for the seconds.
Lancashire Squad: Liam Livingstone (c), James Anderson, Tom Bailey, Jos Buttler, Jordan Clark, Alex Davies, Haseeb Hameed, Keaton Jennings, Toby Lester, Joe Mennie, Graham Onions, Matt Parkinson, Stephen Parry, Dane Vilas
Root, Bairstow and Williamson will certainly come in and just one man won’t make the cut as Yorkshire have named a 12-man squad. Matt Fisher misses out after sustaining an injury on England Lions duty. Spinner Josh Poysden has joined on a short-term loan from Warwickshire.
Yorkshire Squad: Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Tim Bresnan, Harry Brook, Jack Brooks, Ben Coad, Adam Lyth, Steven Patterson (c), Josh Poysden, Joe Root, Josh Shaw, Kane Williamson
Weather and Conditions
It’s set to be fine, dry and warm for this match. The dry summer will lend itself to spin bowling and Lancashire may look to Matt Parkinson and Liam Livingstone to exploit such conditions.
Date: July 22nd – July 25th
Ground: Emirates Old Trafford
Odds (SkyBet): Lancashire 1/1, Yorkshire 4/5