Strauss set for season bow

Lv County Championship

Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss is set to make a rare championship outing for Middlesex in their home game against Leicestershire

England captain Andrew Strauss will make his first appearance of the season for Middlesex when they host Leicestershire at Southgate in Division Two of the LV= County Championship.

The game will provide the left-hander with the chance to spend some time in the middle ahead of the first npower Test against West Indies, which starts at Lord’s on May 6.

Strauss is set to open the batting with Billy Godleman, so Australian overseas player Phil Hughes, who scored a fabulous century on debut against Glamorgan last week, will drop down the order to number three.

Managing director of cricket Angus Fraser has revealed the club have a number of minor injury concerns ahead of the game.

Fraser told ecb.co.uk: “Dawid Malan has a hamstring injury but we are hopeful he will be ok.

"Danny Evans is struggling with an abdomen problem, while Tim Murtagh tweaked his thigh in the last championship game.”

All three players have been named in a 15-man squad, although Middlesex are still without the services of England batsman Owais Shah and Tyron Henderson, who remain on IPL duty.

Leicestershire are set to hand an LV= County Championship debut to New Zealand bowler Iain O’Brien.

O’Brien missed Leicestershire’s opening championship game - a battling draw with Northamptonshire - as he waited for a visa to enter the country.

However, he arrived in time for Sunday’s Friends Provident Trophy game against Hampshire and will be keen to build on the two wickets he picked up in that game.

James Allenby

Leicestershire will have to make do without Jim Allenby after he picked up a side strain in the Foxes' tour match with West Indies

O’Brien’s presence is particularly important for Leicestershire as fellow seamer Nadeem Malik remains sidelined with a groin strain.

AJ Harris is expected to feature despite suffering a minor finger injury in the defeat to Hampshire.

However, all-rounder Jim Allenby misses out after picking up a side strain in the recent tour match against West Indies.

Leicestershire have continued with their policy of rotating their non-English qualified players, meaning Claude Henderson drops out of the squad.

He is replaced in the 13-man party by off-spinner Carl Crowe, who rejoined the club’s playing staff in the summer more than six years after his initial exit from Grace Road.

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