Durham ready for Championship opener at Somerset

Durham's squad for the new season
Durham's squad for the new season
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DURHAM head coach Jon Lewis admits he is not sure what to expect come tomorrow morning’s LV County Championship Division One opener at Somerset – but is confident he has the tools to adapt to any situation.

His squad travel to Taunton in buoyant mood after a productive three-day friendly win over Durham MCCU, with all 11 players getting valuable match practice under their belt.

There’s a few things we do know, a few things we don’t, but we adapt well to situations as they arrive

Durham coach Jon Lewis

By contrast, the hosts played out a dour match against Lancashire, scoring 334 for the loss of just one wicket on the final day, with Marcus Trescothick and Tom Cooper both hitting centuries.

That result may indicate the conditions Durham can expect tomorrow, on a ground where they’ve have not recorded a first-class victory since 2005, though Lewis refused to make decisions based on that game – and he will use another nearby match to keep his options open.

“It’s tricky to read too much into a friendly game against Lancashire. What you do in a Championship game might differ,” he said. “There’s a few things we do know, a few things we don’t, but we adapt well to situations as they arrive.

“They’ve got a few players we know a bit about. (Johann) Myburgh spent a bit of time with us and got some runs against us. Tom Cooper is a less-known quantity.

“Given that our second team are at Bristol, I’m happy to take players knowing that if people miss out, they can get some second-team cricket because Bristol’s only 25 minutes up the road.”

He also admitted those who started against the students would likely take to the field tomorrow, though stopped short of definitely ruling out any changes. “When you’ve only got the one game, you have to try and get the match time into the players, take a hunch and a take a bet they’ll be the ones who’ll start at Taunton,” he said.

Lewis is without Mark Wood and Ben Stokes, who are on international duty with England, while Jamie Harrison could play in the second XI game following his return from a long-term knee injury.

DURHAM (probable): M Stoneman, K Jennings, S Borthwick, M Richardson, C Macleod, P Collingwood, P Mustard, J Hastings, P Coughlin, C Rushworth, G Onions.