Worcestershire, are part of Group 1 in the 2021 County Championship – here’s the team preview and fixtures list.
County Championship 2021: Worcestershire preview
2/6 Central Group
IN: Gareth Roderick (Gloucs), Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal, T20)
OUT: Wayne Parnell, Ben Twohig, Olly Westbury (all released)
Josh Tongue – the 23-year-old’s career record (124 wickets at 24) stacks up with the best young quicks in the country, but injuries have hampered his development, restricting him to just nine appearances over the last two years. Tall with a high, classical action, if Tongue – who was called up by England Lions at the age of 21 – can stay fit, he’s got the raw materials to become a Test bowler.
Jack Haynes – son of former Worcestershire all-rounder Gavin, the 20-year-old stepped up last season in the absence of Hamish Rutherford, who remained in New Zealand due to Covid. Haynes was ever-present in the BWT, scoring a brace of stylish half-centuries and averaging 41. He now looks set for an extended run in the side.
County Championship 2021: Worcestershire Fixtures
Essex v Worcestershire, Thursday April 8, CloudFM County Ground
Derbyshire v Worcestershire, Thursday April 15, The Incora County Ground, Derby
Worcestershire v Nottinghamshire, Thursday April 22, New Road
Worcestershire v Essex, Thursday April 29, New Road
Warwickshire v Worcestershire, Thursday May 6, Edgbaston
Durham v Worcestershire, Thursday May 13, Emirates Riverside
Nottinghamshire v Worcestershire, Thursday May 20, Trent Bridge
Worcestershire v Derbyshire, Thursday May 27, New Road
Worcestershire v Durham, Sunday June 3, New Road
Worcestershire v Warwickshire, Sunday July 11, New Road
After finishing one off the bottom in Division Two in 2019, Worcester would have qualified for last summer’s Lord’s final if they had overcome Somerset in their final group match. The seam attack is settled and reliable, but their batting unit was a revelation in the BWT, with six players averaging 40-plus and Jake Libby’s tally of 498 runs only topped by Alastair Cook. If their batsmen can replicate that kind of form this season, Worcester will fancy their chances of progression to Division One.
Keep an eye on Matt Critchley – the leg-spinning all-rounder stood out with bat and ball last year and has been tipped to become the first Derbyshire player to represent England since Dominic Cork.
County Championship 2021: Worcestershire prediction
6th in Division 1
This preview first appeared in issue 42 of Wisden Cricket Monthly.
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