Nottinghamshire have not tasted victory in a red-ball game for over 1000 days, and Durham failed to win a Bob Willis Trophy game last year. On the surface, it doesn’t appear to be a classic; two teams who have forgotten how to win in the format. Both sides will go into the game with some confidence; their fortunes have to turn at some point.
Nottinghamshire appears to have found the right balance in their batting and have a conveyor belt of fast bowlers at their disposal. Their biggest dilemma will be which of the bowlers to leave out.
There is no room for Samit Patel in the side, and it looks like Liam Patterson-White will be given a chance to cement his place in the Championship side.
Durham finished with the same number of losses and draws as Notts last season; however, they finished 18 points below their hosts for this game.
Alex Lees’ form with the bat was encouraging and with Scott Borthwick, there needs to be more consistency from the middle order.
Chris Rushworth will again lead the bowling attack and enjoy an early-season trip to Trent Bridge; he will expect more support from the other bowlers and expect Ben Raine to return to the East Midlands with a good performance.
Much is expected of Matty Potts, who at only 22-years-old can only improve over the course of the season.
If Notts opener Haseeb Hameed can carry on the encouraging start to his time at Trent Bridge, then Notts could batt their way in to a position for their bowlers to take 20 wickets. With batsmen around him that like to attack, he could be the steady anchor that Notts have been missing for a while.
Scott Borthwick makes his return to the Durham side after four years away with Surrey. It is not just Borthwick’s runs that will be relied on, but with the captaincy to go with it, there will be many expectations on the player. It is the type of challenge, however, that you feel the allrounder will take in his stride.
Durham have a new captain in the returning Scott Borthwick, who will go straight into the Durham middle-order. Alex Thomson, the allrounder on loan from Warwickshire, should go straight into the squad. Will Young, the New Zealand international, isn’t expected to arrive in time for this match but will be available for the next game against Essex.
Nottinghamshire will not have Stuart Broad available for this game despite training with the team this week. Dane Paterson will make his Notts debut. Brett Hutton, who returns from Northamptonshire, is straight in the 14-man squad.
Nottinghamshire Squad: Steven Mullaney (c), Jake Ball, Joe Clarke, Ben Compton, Ben Duckett, Luke Fletcher, Haseeb Hammed, Brett Hutton, Lyndon James, Tom Moores (wk), Dane Paterson, Liam Patterson-White, Ben Slater, Peter Trego.
Durham Squad: TBA
Weather and Conditions
Like the worst tail enders, it will be lucky if the temperature gets into double figures over the first few days. Accompanied by grey skies for days one and two, there could be plenty of hand warmers and fielders preying a catch doesn’t come their way. Durham got some cold weather training earlier this week when they netted in the snow.
Trent Bridge is known as a ground that swings and seams early on, but there have been plenty of early-season scores over 400. Trent Bridge is still a ground where it is good to bat on with the correct application.
Date: 8-11 April 2021