WORCESTERSHIRE director of cricket Steve Rhodes will keep star all-rounder Gareth Andrew under wraps for a little longer rather than gambling on his match fitness.
The County welcome Nottinghamshire to New Road for their first LV= County Championship Division One contest on home soil today (11am), but Rhodes has opted not to include Andrew in his 13-man squad.
Instead, the County chief has named the same 12 players who claimed a draw against Surrey at The Oval last time out, with the addition to his squad of England under 19s all-rounder Aneesh Kapil.
Andrew, who is finding his way back to match fitness after undergoing knee surgery at the end of last season, managed to bowl a few overs in the draw with Oxford MCCU 10 days ago, but Rhodes is not yet willing to risk him in four-day competitive action.
Rhodes said: “Gareth is still not quite there and the last thing I would want to do would be to mess up all the good rehab work he has done by bringing him back too quickly. We will continue to monitor it on a match-by-match basis.”
Although first innings runs have generally been hard to come by around the country so far this season, Worcestershire and second-placed Nottinghamshire are the only sides in the top-flight yet to record a batting bonus point.
Rhodes added: “We still don’t have a batting point yet this season, so we are in a similar boat to Nottinghamshire in that respect as the only two teams yet to score one.
“We know what a quality squad they have and they are battle-hardened to Division One cricket having been in the top-flight for so long, but we can take some heart from the way we have had our opponents in trouble during the games so far this season.
“It was disappointing we couldn’t finish off Surrey because of the weather as Daryl Mitchell and Mike Klinger had put us in a very strong position.”
Worcestershire: Klinger, Cameron, Solanki, Ali, Kervezee, Mitchell, Scott, Choudhry, Lucas, Jones, Richardson, Shantry, Kapil.