Ish Sodhi is set to make his LV=Insurance County Championship debut for Worcestershire and fellow spinner and Academy product, Josh Baker, is also named in the squad for the first time for the derby clash with Warwickshire at New Road beginning on Sunday.
New Zealand star Sodhi has been a regular member of the Rapids Vitality Blast team and returned 4-24 against the Birmingham Bears on Friday but this will represent his first red ball appearance for the County.
Baker has earned his place in the squad after impressing in the Second Eleven in T20 and Championship cricket and the Malvern College pupil signed a rookie professional contract earlier in the week.
Ed Barnard will bat at number six after his consistent run of scores in Championship cricket and Jack Haynes is set to return to the side after recovering from an ankle injury.
Worcestershire Head Coach, Alex Gidman, said: “It’s an opportunity for us to see how the balance of the team works with an out and out spinner (Sodhi) in the team.
“It means that Ed Barnard is going to bat slightly higher, which he deserves to have the opportunity to do so after the way he has batted this year.
“We all felt that this was in there. He just needed to have that little breakthrough and hopefully he kicks on consistently now.
“It is an opportunity to see this balance of team and see how it goes.”
Baker picked up a hat-trick for the Seconds this week in the Championship win over Nottinghamshire Seconds.
Gidman said: “We are still trying our very best to promote our own players from the Academy and Josh has impressed with his performances in the second team in all formats of the game.
“He deserves to be in the squad. It is a used wicket and we will see if potentially there is enough in it, turn and bounce, to arguably play two spinners but we won’t make that decision until the toss.”
Haynes has been side-lined since suffering his setback during training ahead of the Championship match with Durham at New Road in early June.
Gidman said: “We have played some extremely good cricket in the Championship and the position in the table doesn’t doesn’t lie.
“But, equally, I’m not sure it’s a completely fair representation of how well the lads have played in certain conditions against some of the opposition.
“We are constantly trying to get better. We know we are on a journey with the red ball team, there are some exciting players in that team and Jack is one of them.
“It’s great to have him back. He is an extremely talented player, as we all know, and looking forward to seeing him play again after recovering from his injury and scoring some runs last week for the Seconds.”
Ben Cox (w)
Joe Leach ©