Thursday, April 11th, 2024

Nottinghamshire vs Worcestershire: Preview and squad news

Head Coach Alan Richardson says opener Jake Libby is developing into Worcestershire’s ‘Mr. Reliable’ and becoming the next Daryl Mitchell.

Libby will face former county, Nottinghamshire, in Friday’s Vitality County Championship match at Trent Bridge in prime form after his century in the drawn game with Warwickshire at Edgbaston.

He arrived at New Road four years ago as the young apprentice batting alongside club legend Mitchell, who scored 38 first class hundreds for Worcestershire, at the top of the order.

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But Libby is now one of Worcestershire’s senior professionals and scored his 12th first class hundred for the club against the Bears in his 47th match for the club, in addition to 13 half centuries.

Richardson said: “He is turning into Mr. Reliable isn’t he? We always said when we signed Jake that we felt he was going to be the next Daryl Mitchell.

“Mitch is a legend of the club, and scored a lot of hundreds, but Libbs has a very similar air to him, the way he goes about his cricket.

“He is very unflustered, very highly skilled, loves batting time, adapts to lots of situations, does it in his own way.

“He did that throughout the Warwickshire game and for him to go on and get a score on the final day was really important for everyone, and for himself to start the season well.

“It was really good to see him do it – but not a huge surprise.”

There were many plus points against the Bears but Richardson felt Libby’s opening partnership of 77 with Gareth Roderick on the first day of the new season was pivotal.

He said: “That was really crucial. If we had won the toss, we would have bowled. Whether that would have been the right decision or not, you don’t know.

“It certainly nipped around a bit in the morning but we know with Gareth and Jake, that throughout the majority of last season they put together some really good partnerships.

“They have developed a really strong and solid understanding with each other which is crucial for any team.

“For them to get us off to a good start was so important. There would have been a fair few nerves flying around in the changing room on that first morning of the season.

“But to have those guys out there, playing as well as they did and just to set a real foundation, was crucial.”

Worcestershire will face former players Dillon Pennington, Jack Haynes and Joe Clarke at Trent Bridge.

Richardson said: “We treat it as any other game. We know that every other side in this division are very good and very strong.

“They are in Division One for a reason and Notts will be no different.

“There was plenty of talk about us playing in the first game against our local rivals (Warwickshire) and the boys took that in their stride really well.

“I don’t think it will change anything for the lads. It’s another really good game of cricket in Division One which is what we aspire to play.

“We’ve got a very skilful bunch, but we’ve also got a very spirited bunch, and if we give ourselves a chance in most games, you will hopefully see a lot of good performances.”

Worcestershire have named a 14 strong squad for the trip to Trent Bridge – the 11 players in action against Warwickshire plus Ed Pollock, Ethan Brookes and Josh Baker.

2 Jake Libby
6 Matthew Waite
7 Ed Pollock
9 Gareth Roderick (w)
15 Brett D’Oliveira ©
20 Nathan Smith
23 Joe Leach
27 Kashif Ali
33 Josh Baker
54 Adam Hose
61 Adam Finch
77 Ethan Brookes
88 Rob Jones
98 Jason Holder