Jacques Rudolph has returned to the Surrey squad, as Chris Adams names 13 players to take on Durham in the LVCC Division One match at the Kia Oval starting tomorrow.
The South African opener missed last week’s draw against Worcestershire due to family reasons, but has flown back to the UK in the last 2 days. He will come straight back into the side at the top of the order, and gives Adams the selection dilemma of dropping either Roy or Ramprakash. Roy looked good in both innings last week, but failed to get a significant score. Ramps just got a total of 11 runs in the game, and looks in extremely poor form. However, he has come out this week and criticised the Oval pitch, a week after criticising the pitch at Lord’s, saying batting is a “lottery.” I think Adams will stick with him for this game, but further failure could lead to him being dropped.
Adams could however, play both Roy and Ramps. Roy could add some vital depth to the batting at number 7, with Jordan dropping out of the team. The West Indian didn’t bowl much in the Worcestershire second innings, and I feel that if Hamilton-Brown is going to open with de Bruyn on a regular occurrence, we have plenty of bowling options in the side. Adams could also leave out Gareth Batty, and bat Jordan at 8, but this seems unlikely as Batty has been the go to bowler this season, especially when the oppositions tail is wagging.
Tim Linley has once again been named in the squad, but is unlikely that he will play. Lewis and especially Meaker have proven their worth this season already, so the only way the Viscount will play is if Dernbach is dropped/rested, but I can’t see this happening, especially with Jade likely to be with England this year. Adams will want to get the most he can out of him.
The skipper will want to continue his great start to the season, scoring a fifty in each of the second innings so far. Like Ramprakash, Zander de Bruyn hasn’t been in the best of form this season, which is surprising after his attractive half century in the first innings against Sussex. There is no danger, at the moment, of him being dropped, as his all round options have been useful (well sometimes!).
Durham have an extremely good looking squad, and will provide a stern test for the home side. They are fresh off a draw at Lord’s last week, and with the likes of Onions, Collingwood and Stokes, they will be favourites ahead of this once.
Surrey Squad to take on Durham:
Rory Hamilton-Brown (C)
Steven Davies (WK)
Zander de Bruyn