Warwickshire will resume their Specsavers County Championship campaign, against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford tomorrow, looking to take up when they left off at Lord's three weeks ago.
The Bears have it all to do to climb clear of the Division One relegation zone. Only a storming finish to the season will do, but they started the run-in in exactly the right vein by beating Middlesex by 190 runs in St John's Wood.
"Some new guys have come in and helped us win matches which is brilliant. Now we will go up to Old Trafford and try to keep the ball rolling."
That victory was earned by an excellent all-round team performance which included six wickets from debutant paceman Ryan Sidebottom. Opening batsman Dominic Sibley also make his Bears championship bow in that match and with Sibley, Adam Hose (who is unavailable for championship games this season) and Ed Pollock having impressed in the NatWestT20Blast, the squad is enjoying fresh impetus into the vital final month of the season.
"It's clear that we have a lot to do to stay up," said first-team coach Jim Troughton. "But nobody's given up, that's for sure, and there are some very good signs, so it's 'game on.'
"We had a very close game at home to Middlesex and then a great win down at Lord's where we were under a bit of pressure because we knew the rain was coming in but every bowler did his job superbly.
"There is a nice impetus about the squad after that championship win and some very good performances in T20. Some new guys have come in and helped us win matches which is brilliant. Now we will go up to Old Trafford and try to keep the ball rolling."
Warwickshire will face Lancashire under the leadership of Jonathan Trott following Ian Bell's decision to step down from the captaincy. As a highly-experienced player who knows the Bears inside-out, Trott is eminently qualified to lead the side while his long-time former England colleague focuses on scoring runs to help the team achieve a much-needed win.
Bell has some happy history at Old Trafford, both for England (two Test centuries) and the Bears, for whom he scored a century in each innings there against Lancashire in 2004 as Nick Knight's side closed in on the championship title.
"We look forward to seeing Ian score runs for the Bears far into the future and, if we are going to stay in Division One this season, his runs will be crucial to that."
"Ian Bell remains the world-class batsmen that he has been throughout his entire career," Troughton said. "We look forward to seeing him score runs for the Bears far into the future and, if we are going to stay in Division One this season, his runs will be crucial to that.
"Jonathan Trott captained the team at home to Middlesex so it's not brand new to him and I know he just can't wait to get up to Old Trafford and get some practice in ahead of the game."
- Jonathan Trott (Captain)
- Tim Ambrose (Wicket-Keeper)
- Keith Barker
- Ian Bell
- Sam Hain
- Matthew Lamb
- Jeetan Patel
- Boyd Rankin
- Dom Sibley
- Ryan Sidebottom
- Olly Stone
- Andy Umeed
- Chris Wright