Three years after his solitary championship appearance, 22-year-old Scot Gavin Main is set for a second as Durham’s injury woes continue to mount.
With Chris Rushworth and James Weighell joining fellow seamers Graham Onions, Usman Arshad and Brydon Carse on the treatment table, they have also added Josh Coughlin to a 13-man squad for the visit of Northamptonshire, starting today.
Like Onions, Rushworth has back trouble and Weighell has a sore shin. It is hoped at least two of the trio will be fit for next week’s trip to Canterbury to tackle on-form Kent.
It was during a similar injury crisis that Main played at Trent Bridge in 2014, when Arshad opened the bowling.
The pair took three wickets each in a match reduced by rain to one innings per side.
Excluding Ben Stokes and Mark Wood, Durham have only 15 players on full contracts and seven are injured, if Michael Richardson is included, although it is hoped he will return against Northants.
Main and 19-year-old Josh Coughlin are on development contracts, while left-arm spinner George Harding, who is again included in the squad, is still in the academy.
Main has since had his own injury troubles, but played in a first-class match for Scotland against Afghanistan two years ago and featured in last year’s World T20 Championship.
Wearsider Coughlin made his first-class debut under the captaincy of his brother, Paul, against Sri Lanka A last summer.
Irish bowler Barry McCarthy seems certain to make his first appearance of the season and Coughlin senior will now be thrust into the role of leading the attack four days after bowling the fateful final over at Swansea.
With 14 needed, Australian Nick Selman hit him for six, six and two, but skipper Paul Collingwood said: “Paul doesn’t need an arm round him.
“He’s a very talented cricketer and the more he can experience these pressure situations the better he will be.
“The same goes for the other youngsters.
“We knew it would be a tough year and we would need everything to go our way.
“A lot of things have gone against us, but we will continue to try to win.
“We could have batted for a draw at Swansea, but, in the position we are in, we have to take the odd risk.
“There is no shame in trying to win matches and when a game goes to the last over with all three results possible that’s a good thing.”
Durham are in the same position as they began the season, 48 points adrift of second-bottom Derbyshire on minus 24, following the three-wicket defeat at the St Helen’s ground in Swansea, where the loss of 16 overs straight after lunch on the final day proved crucial.
There is still no sign of a comeback for batsman Jack Burnham after his broken thumb.
Durham (from): P Collingwood, K Jennings, S Cook, C Steel, M Richardson, G Clark, R Pringle, S Poynter, P Coughlin, B McCarthy, G Harding, G Main, J Coughlin.