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Yorkshire without Lions pair

Lancashire CCC

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Yorkshire will be without England Lions duo Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root for their LV= County Championship clash with Somerset at Headingley, which starts tomorrow.

Andrew Hodd will take over form Bairstow behind the stumps, while Joe Sayers comes in for Lions skipper Root.

Coach Jason Gillespie makes one unforced change to his 12-man squad, with Ryan Sidebottom - who was rested for last week’s win over Derbyshire - returning to give Liam Plunkett a break.

Gillespie is keen to play down his side's early-season form after consecutive win lifted them up to third in the Division One table.

"Those two victories have been thrilling and we worked exceptionally hard to win both matches," the Australian said. "Those matches are now in the past and the Somerset match is a new challenge.

Joe Sayers

Joe Sayers is likely to get a chance at the top of the order for Yorkshire against Somerset after Joe Root was called up for England Lions

"We try not to dwell on the matches. We can expect a difficult match against a very competitive county - Somerset will come to Headingley looking to win and we will have to be at our best to beat them.

"Joe (Root) and Jonny (Bairstow) were outstanding against Derbyshire (scoring 236 and 186 respectively) and batted very well. They deserve to be selected for England Lions and I'm sure they will figure heavily in England's plans this summer.

"It means we have two players coming into the set-up to make an impression. Joe Sayers has been in good form for the seconds and he has the ability to step in an make an impact at the top of the order. We also have a top-class keeper in Andrew Hodd, who is up there with the very best wicketkeepers in the country."

In Division Two, Essex are again able to call on the services of England captain Alastair Cook against Lancashire at Old Trafford.

The visitors, who got their campaign up and running with a narrow win over Hampshire last week, also include paceman Sajid Mahmood in their 13-man squad against his former club.

However, all-rounder Ravi Bopara misses the fixture due to Lions duties, and leg-spinner Tom Craddock is ruled out as he recovers from a badly bruised finger.

Coach Paul Grayson was delighted with the Yorkshire Bank 40 win on Sunday against Durham Dynamos as his squad face a demanding fortnight on their travels.

"It was nice to start our two-week stint road trip with a win," he said. "We were outplayed by Hampshire Royals in the competition on Friday but showed a lot of character to beat Durham Dynamos and were able to take a lot of positives from that game.

"Of course there are still a few areas we can improve upon in our play both in four-day cricket and the one-day game, but we take encouragement from that win against Durham and the victory over Hampshire last week that gave us our first championship win of the season.

"Lancashire are a good side but there is a lot of pressure on them - they are one of the big sides in our division and are expected to get immediate promotion following their relegation last season."

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