County Championship 2021: Middlesex team preview, fixtures & ins and outs
Middlesex will play in Group 2 of the 2021 County Championship – here’s their team preview and fixtures list.
County Championship 2021: Middlesex preview
3/6 South Group
IN: Peter Handscomb (Aus), Mitchell Marsh (Aus, T20), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afg, T20)
OUT: Dan Lincoln (released), Miguel Cummins (Kent)
Peter Handscomb – now able to take up the contract which was initially due to start last summer, the Australian has been charged with filling the shoes of Dawid Malan as club skipper and the team’s primary source of runs. It’s a big task for Handscomb, who’s averaged a modest 36 across his three previous stints in county cricket and takes over an underperforming side.
Thilan Walallawita – the Sri Lanka-born left-arm spinner arrived in the UK aged 12 after narrowly surviving the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and Middlesex are excited by his progress. He was ever-present in last summer’s BWT campaign and has impressive control of line and length for a young spinner. At the time of writing Middlesex are waiting for clearance to field the 22-year-old as a local player.
County Championship 2021: Middlesex Fixtures
Middlesex v Somerset, Thursday April 8, Lord’s
Hampshire v Middlesex, Thursday April 15, Ageas Bowl
Middlesex v Surrey, Thursday April 22, Lord’s
Somerset vs Middlesex, Thursday April 29, The Cooper Associates County Ground
Middlesex v Gloucestershire, Thursday May 6, Lord’s
Middlesex v Hampshire, Thursday May 13, Lord’s
Surrey v Middlesex, Thursday May 20, Kia Oval
Leicestershire v Middlesex, Thursday May 27, Uptonsteel County Ground
Gloucestershire v Middlesex, Monday July 5, Cheltenham
Middlesex v Leicestershire, Sunday July 11, Merchant Taylors’ School
You can check the full list of County Championship fixtures here.
Middlesex’s seam attack, led by the evergreen Tim Murtagh (25 wickets at 13 last season), is among the best in the country but runs continue to be a problem for a batting line-up which looks sound on paper but consistently fails to deliver. The return to form of Nick Gubbins last season was therefore particularly welcome, but Stevie Eskinazi and Sam Robson struggled, while Max Holden, 23, is yet to stitch together a season to justify his billing as a future England batsman.
5th in Division 2
This preview first appeared in issue 42 of Wisden Cricket Monthly.