County Championship Division 2: 3rd
Vitality Blast North: 7th
Royal London One Day Cup: Runners Up
Captain: Scott Borthwick
Director of Cricket: Marcus North
Head Coach: James Franklin
Overseas: David Bedingham (SA), Keegan Petersen (SA)
Durham will be targeting promotion, having spent five years outside the top flight, but their challenge has got off to a mixed start in this campaign.
Prior to Nottinghamshire, their batting had been solid in two draws against Glamorgan and Leicestershire, but another tough deck at Trent Bridge saw them falter to an innings defeat.
A promising start hasn’t quite equated to points on the board, and with a draw in the previous match against Sussex.
Despite the difficult start result-wise, they’ve still managed to score a decent amount of runs. England opener Alex Lees and the in-form Sean Dickson provided much-needed tons in the second innings to avoid defeat at Hove.
The addition of South-African international Keegan Petersen at number three looks like an astute overseas signing that will provide even more class to this batting line-up.
It seems only a matter of time before he makes his first half-century, following some unusual preparation for the championship season.
He found himself in the field at St. George’s Park (Sahara Oval) on April 11, facing Bangladesh and then batting after just five overs on April 14 at a chilly Chester-Le-Street against Leicestershire.
In at five is David Bedingham, a test player in the making who was one of only five players to make 1,000 runs in 2021 but doing so in only 20 innings, with a barely believable average of 60.52.
Bedingham’s consistency has almost certainly catapulted him into the international reckoning when he qualifies for English selection in 2024 following a decision to sign a three-year deal with the county, having had no contact from his native South Africa.
Over a decade has passed since Ben Stokes made his Durham debut, and having signed a new three-year contract in the winter, the new England captain is likely to play some part this summer, potentially coming at New Road starting Thursday.
Failure to take more than 15 wickets over their opening four-day fixtures will be a concern without Chris Rushworth’s usual flurry of early-season wickets with only five scalps in his 109.5 overs.
Matty Potts has been a positive, with 18 wickets at an average of 22.33 and 28 wickets being shared between six different bowlers.
All-rounder Liam Trevaskis top-scored with 88 against Sussex on day one in their most recent match, but his left-arm spin also offers a balance to the seam-heavy attack.
5-128, including the wicket of Cheteswar Pujara, was a decent return in 153.5 overs of excruciating time out in the field. Still, Durham will be hoping for early wickets, something they’ve been missing this campaign.
LAST 5 MATCHES:
DURHAM won by 10 wickets – June 3, 2021
DURHAM won by 258 runs – May 13, 2021
DURHAM won by 109 runs – July 13, 2019
WORCS won by 5 wickets – May 14, 2019
WORCS won by 137 runs – September 25, 2017