Alfonso Thomas is set to make his first return to competitive cricket today since breaking his ankle during the winter.
Thomas has been named in a 13-man squad for the Somerset’s second County Championship match of the season against Middlesex at the County Ground in Taunton.
The veteran fast-bowler recently returned to the West Country after completing his recovery during a short-term coaching contract with the IPL franchise Delhi Daredevils.
Meanwhile, Somerset have also added Tom Abell to the XI who played in their opening match against Durham.
Captain Marcus Trescothick says the club will be looking for an improved performance over the next four days following their defeat to Durham by seven wickets with a day to spare earlier this month.
Trescothick said: “Our first plans are to improve on the way that we played in the Durham game where we did some good things for a short period of time but we couldn’t sustain them and push for a victory. We started off well but we didn’t maintain it for the whole game, so our aim is to improve on what we did last week.”
The skipper continued: “We are very disappointed and didn’t perform up the standards we wanted to and expect of ourselves. However as a team unit we are in a very good place. This is really encouraging and it is what helps to get you through the tougher times. However, this counts for nothing unless you put in the better performances to match up to the hunger and desire over the four days.”
The Middlesex side will include Nick Compton (right) who returned to the north London county after five seasons at Taunton about which Trescothick said: “It is going to be a tough game against Middlesex as they have some quality players including of course Nick Compton who will be returning to play against us for the first time.”
Somerset Director of Cricket Matt Maynard said: “The Durham game was a tough one for us and the result is still hurting but now we have got an opportunity to put that right. I thought that we did a lot of good things and we mustn’t forget that and there were a lot of positives to take away from the game. However, we couldn’t sustain them for long enough so we have got to put a performance together for the next game and beyond.”
Maynard added: “We have done some very good prep work and both our batsmen and bowlers know what we want from them. It has worked really well with the full squad over the last few days and we had a final practice on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s game so we are really looking forward to it.”
After being dismissed without scoring in his only first-class outing this season against Durham MCCU, Abell (left) recently struck form with a magnificent 181 (238 balls, 29×4) for Somerset Second XI against Gloucestershire Seconds in a two-day friendly at Taunton Vale.
Middlesex drew their opening County Championship match of the season against Nottinghamshire at Lord’s earlier this month after a spirited rearguard batting display on day four, led by Compton with 85, which will give them renewed confidence going into this game.
Somerset squad: Marcus Trescothick (capt), Tom Abell, Jim Allenby, Alex Barrow, Tom Cooper, Lewis Gregory, Tim Groenewald, James Hildreth, Johann Myburgh, Jamie Overton, Abdur Rehman, Alfonso Thomas and Peter Trego.
Middlesex squad: Voges, Compton, Dexter, Gubbins, Finn, Franklin, Harris, Murtagh, Podmore, Rayner, Robson, Simpson and Stirling.