Middlesex without Strauss
Middlesex are without England captain Andrew Strauss for their match with neighbours Surrey in LV= County Championship Division Two.
Strauss made a magnificent 150 in last week’s draw with Leicestershire, but will miss the game at the Brit Oval as he leads England in the first npower Test against West Indies at Lord’s.
Nick Compton or Gareth Berg will replace Strauss, with Australia batsman Phillip Hughes, who also made a century against Leicestershire, set to move back up the order to open alongside Billy Godleman.
Middlesex will still be without the services of Owais Shah, who is remaining on Indian Premier League duty with Delhi Daredevils for an extra few days.
Managing director of cricket Angus Fraser told ecb.co.uk: “Owais is due back around the 8th of May. He’s staying with the IPL for a bit longer because he’s not involved in England’s first npower Test against West Indies."
Tyron Henderson and Murali Kartik are also involved in the IPL and are set to stay with their respective teams (Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders) for the remainder of the tournament.
Middlesex’s only injury concern is Danny Evans, who was unavailable last week due to an abdomen strain.
However, Fraser added: “He seems to have recovered and is currently playing for the second XI in Yorkshire.”
Middlesex have drawn their opening two championship matches, but will be keen to bounce back from two heavy defeats in the Friends Provident Trophy, where they were bowled out for 133 against Kent and 65 at Somerset.
Mark Ramprakash’s first championship appearance of the season comes against his former county.
Ramprakash, the former England batsman, was banned for Surrey’s first two matches in Division Two for his part in an altercation with Murray Goodwin and an umpire in a match against Sussex last year.
With captain Mark Butcher still out with a knee prolem, Michael Brown will continue to lead Surrey in four-day cricket.
Laurie Evans drops out of the XI that lost to Derbyshire in Surrey’s last first-class match.
Overseas all-rounder Grant Elliott is also set for his championship debut in place of James Benning.
Chris Jordan is carrying a slight injury and will play for the Second XI against Gloucestershire at Cheam, purely as a batsman.
Surrey professional cricket manager Chris Adams said: “This is our last four-day game for a while so I want to make sure we put in an absolutely fantastic performance.
“Middlesex are a very strong side who have clearly not had the start to the four-day season they would have wanted and will be looking to prove a point against their local rivals.
“We must be on our game at all times to ensure we come away with the win and end the first phase of our LV Championship campaign on the right foot.”