Glamorgan make the trip to Leicester this week, the game starting a day later than the others in this round.
Leicestershire should be boosted by some strong performances in recent weeks, with five consecutive wins to finish their T20 campaign and a record Championship score of 756/4 against Sussex in their last outing. That total was based on unbeaten double hundreds from Colin Ackermann and Wiaan Mulder.
Glamorgan meanwhile put division leaders Nottinghamshire under pressure, although they were unable to complete the job on the final day. The draw has taken them to within one point of second placed Middlesex, who were beaten by Worcestershire and the battle for the second promotion slot looks like going down to the wire.
When the two teams met in Cardiff, back in May, Glamorgan ran out winners thanks to some sloppy batting from Leicestershire and wickets from Michael Hogan and Michael Neser. Ackerman was absent on that occasion and his return will help level up the contest. He is currently the only Leicestershire batter averaging over 40 in a season where runs have flowed. They remain without a Championship win this summer and it will take a big turnaround in fortunes to change that statistic this week.
Glamorgan have benefited from the form of three batters who are relatively new to their Championship line up. New-signing Sam Northeast has excelled in both red and white ball formats. He scored his first century of the season last week and, with five half centuries, is averaging 47.8. Eddie Byrom has stepped up to fill one of the problematic opener slots and has two centuries in six innings, averaging 72.5. Colin Ingram has been at the club since 2015, but his red ball appearances in recent years have been few and far between. He has come in following the departure of Marnus Labuschagne and immediately hit form with two centuries from eight innings, averaging 57.12.
A concern for Glamorgan is that they will not have Ingram or Neser for their September Championship matches, Ingram involved in the Caribbean Premier League and Neser having to return for preseason in Australia. This will undoubtedly have an impact on their promotion chances, although Glamorgan have announced that they are looking to sign an overseas pace bowler and spinner as replacements.
Glamorgan will start this game as favourites, keen to keep pushing for a top two spot in the division.
Eddie Byrom missed the early season following surgery, but since coming into the side he has become the opening batter that Glamorgan have struggled to find for a number of seasons. The 25-year-old Zimbabwe-born left-hander, with an Irish passport, made his first class debut for Somerset back in 2017, but struggled to become a first team regular. He moved to Glamorgan last season on loan before making the move permanent and has clearly settled in well. With David Lloyd struggling with the switch to opener, Byrom’s consistency at the other end has been key to Glamorgan’s recent scores.
Slow left arm spinner Callum Parkinson has been talked about as a player who could match the exploits of his twin brother Matt, but has only taken 19 wickets at 48.84 this season. He did take five wickets in the first innings last week against Sussex, but was not able to repeat the effort in the second. This has been a common theme around the country, with the hopes of developing spin bowlers hampered by the failure of pitches to deteriorate, although Simon Harmer’s haul of 40 wickets would tend to counter that theory. Leicestershire will be hoping he can exert a telling influence this week.
Leicestershire squad: TBC
Glamorgan squad: TBC
Weather and Conditions
The players are likely to be relieved that the start of this game is delayed until Wednesday as the forecast is for temperatures to drop significantly from the high 30s predicted on Tuesday. There may also be some light rain showers on Wednesday.
Despite the hot weather there has been a tendency for captains to choose to bowl first on the basis that the only time the conditions favour the bowlers is on the first morning, with pitches not deteriorating. However, we old timers would think a bat first decision is the right one.
Date: 20th – 23rd July 2022
Ground: Grace Road, Leicester
Odds (SkyBet): Leicestershire 6/4; Glamorgan 1/2