Gloucestershire’s match at Bristol against Warwickshire sees the home side playing more for pride than for survival in the top flight. They sit at the bottom of the table and have so far failed to win any of their 12 matches. Warwickshire are just one place above them but a massive 41 points ahead.
Gloucestershire will no doubt take comfort from the fact that, in their last outing, they had the better of the game against Somerset before the weather won the day. But with overseas star Marcus Harris missing, they may be hard pressed to avoid defeat.
Warwickshire, whose final match is a tough clash with high flying Hampshire, will be desperate for a win. Success this week might lift them above Kent and see them scramble to safety after an underwhelming defence of their Championship title.
Warwickshire seem to have pulled off a useful double signing in bringing in the Indian pair, Mohammed Siraj and Jayant Yadav. With six wickets in his debut game against Somerset, Siraj provided a much-needed boost to an injury-plagued seam attack in which Olly Hannon-Dalby has often ploughed a lonely furrow this season.
Gloucestershire’s Graeme van Buuren did not make a particularly distinguished return to action against Somerset. But his potential value to the side as all-rounder and captain is beyond question. He will no doubt be hoping to make a bigger impact a this week.
Warwickshire are without wicket keeper Michael Burgess who is unavailable so Alex Davies will take over the gloves. There is no place in the squad for Matt Lamb who averages almost 50 this season but seems to be the county’s forgotten man. The ex-Gloucestershire pair, Craig Miles and Liam Norwell, are not fit.
Warwickshire squad: Will Rhodes (c), Jacob Bethell, Danny Briggs,Henry Brookes,Alex Davies (wk), George Garrett, Sam Hain, Olly Hannon-Dalby, Dan Mousley, Dom Sibley, Mohammed Siraj, Jayant Yadav, Rob Yates
For Gloucestershire, the return of Marcus Harris to Australia will leave a big gap at the top of the order. Fortunately, both Zafar Gohar (elbow) and Chris Dent (ankle) have recovered from injury. Dom Goodman also comes into the squad. Tom Lace and Paul van Meekeren drop out.
Gloucestershire squad: Ben Charlesworth, Chris Dent, Ollie Price, Miles Hammond, James Bracey (wk), Graeme von Buuren (c), Jack Taylor, Tom Price, David Payne, Josh Shaw, Ajeet Singh Dale, Zafar Gohar, Dom Goodman
Weather and Conditions
The forecast looks to be for a fine if cloudy four days. As for the pitch, the last four day game at Bristol was way back in June so it is not easy to predict what the players will face. Hopefully, the surface will provide a decent balance between bat and ball with enough pace and bounce to produce a clear result.
Ground: Seat Unique Stadium Bristol
Date: 20th – 23rd September 2022