Essex are part of Group 1 of the County Championship– here’s the team preview and fixtures list.
County Championship 2021: Essex preview
IN: Jimmy Neesham (NZ, T20)
OUT: Rishi Patel (Leics)
Simon Harmer – the South African twirler was at his brilliant best again last summer, strangling the life out of opposition line-ups to pick up a competition-high 38 wickets as Essex collected their third red-ball trophy in four seasons. He has added motivation this summer, with his sights set on a return to Test cricket, a path now open to him because he is registered as an overseas player rather than a Kolpak.
Feroze Khushi – like his teammate Dan Lawrence, the 21-year-old was raised in Whipps Cross and has wrists to die for. Khushi debuted last summer and stroked a maiden half-century against Surrey on a Chelmsford bunsen, leading to a new contract for a batsman described by coach Anthony McGrath as an “exceptional talent”.
County Championship 2021: Essex Fixtures
Essex v Worcestershire, Thursday 8 April, The Cloud FM County Ground
Essex v Durham, Thursday 15 April, The Cloud FM County Ground
Warwickshire v Essex, Thursday 22 April, Edgbaston
Worcestershire v Essex, Thursday 29 April, New Road
Nottinghamshire v Essex, Thursday 6 May, Trent Bridge
Essex v Derbyshire, Thursday May 13, CloudFM County Ground
Essex v Warwickshire, Thursday 20 May, CloudFM County Ground
Durham v Essex, Thursday 27 May, Emirates Riverside
Essex v Nottinghamshire, Thursday 3 June, CloudFM County Ground
Derbyshire v Essex, Sunday July 11, Queen’s Park, Chesterfield
*Divisional Matches to be played between 30 August and 24 September.
You can see the full list of County Championship fixtures here.
Essex are bidding to become the first county to win the English first-class competition for three years in succession since Yorkshire in 1968, and their indomitable bowling attack will ensure they are right in the mix. Only once in eight innings did their opposition reach 200 last summer, as Harmer, Jamie Porter and Simon Cook ran riot, sharing 82 wickets between them. With the exception of Alastair Cook, the batting was considerably less reliable. In his first season as skipper, Tom Westley averaged just 17, while Lawrence’s availability may be limited by England commitments. Still, Essex have become adept at winning whatever the circumstances. They will take some stopping.
County Championship 2021: Essex prediction
2nd in Division 1
This preview first appeared in issue 42 of Wisden Cricket Monthly.
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