Match Preview - Gloucestershire v Surrey
16 April 2019
Head coach Richard Dawson believes starting this year's Royal London Cup pool matches against Surrey can give Gloucestershire a solid guide to their competitiveness in the competition.
The county champions haven't lost to Gloucestershire since the 2015 Final, but even their resources couldn't see them qualify for the knockout stages last season, when they finished fifth in the South Group.
They started their Division 1 Championship season with a draw against Essex, with Will Jacks - who scored a century in the corresponding match at the Oval last year - hitting two half centuries at a brisk pace.
"They've got some talented young players like Jacks and Ollie Pope alongside some world class ones so it will be a good challenge for the first game" Dawson said, "We think we’ve had a great pre-season and this will tell us where we are at."
Across the South Group, Gloucestershire are in the minority in having a bowler (Dan Worrall) as their overseas player, with only Sussex (Mir Hamza) and Essex (Peter Siddle) following suit.
Chris Liddle has been the Club's leading wicket taker in 50 over cricket for the past two seasons and he sees Dan as someone the rest of the team look up to in terms of his white ball skills.
"Dan has good pace and he gets the white ball to swing which is a massive asset" explained Liddle, "It's brilliant to have him back, I'm sure he'll open the bowling and hopefully we can feed off him."
Surrey's overseas batsman, South African Dean Elgar, doesn't join the club until later in the month so will miss the match in Bristol, but Liddle knows they'll still be a well-balanced team.
"You look at their attack with Morne Morkel, Liam Plunkett, Jade Dernbach and potentially Jordan Clark. That's a strong line-up but with teams like Kent and Somerset in with us there are a lot of good sides in our group" he added. "We came back from the pre-season trip to La Manga in a good place confidence wise and and as long as we can look after ourselves hopefully it can be a good tournament for us. With all the games being in a three week block it's very congested but everyone is in the same boat, so we'll just manage it and go with it"
Gloucestershire's 14 man squad
Dent (C), G Hankins, Roderick (WK), Cockbain, Howell, J Taylor, Higgins, Smith, Worrall, Liddle, M Taylor, van Buuren, Hammond, Bracey
Surrey's 14 man squad
Burns, Batty, Clarke, Curran, Foakes, Jacks, McKerr, Morkel, Plunkett, Pope, Roy, Smith, Stoneman, van den Bergh
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