First-team coach Jim Troughton will send Warwickshire into their final game of the season, against Hampshire at Edgbaston, tomorrow intending to "set down some markers" as they prepare for life in the Specsavers County Championship Divison Two.
The Bears will strive to say farewell to the First Division with a belated first home championship win of the season against a Hampshire side which itself was dramatically sucked back into relegation jeopardy when they were beaten by champions Essex last week.
Warwickshire, meanwhile, were narrowly beaten by Yorkshire by two-wickets at Headingley in a match which brought debuts for two more promising young players - opening batsman Liam Banks and spin-bowling all-rounder Alex Thomson.
"We know there are some strong teams in Div Two and it will be challenging for us down there, so let's try to finish with this season with a performance that really shows what we can do."
"The two lads went in and certainly did not look out of place in first-class cricket," said Troughton. "There was cloud cover pretty much all game and Liam opened the batting against a strong Yorkshire seam attack which put him under a lot of pressure and stood up to it really well.
"I was gutted for all the guys that they did not come out with a victory because they played some excellent cricket in the game and forced a winning position, only for Steve Patterson to play a pretty good innings for Yorkshire, albeit when with some luck when he appeared to be caught behind down the leg-side off Jeetan Patel.
"But there was some good cricket from us and I was pleased to see that because it has been a tough season and it is important that we set down some markers as we head into Division Two.
"We are not precious about going down. We know there are some strong teams in Div Two and it will be challenging for us down there, so let's try to finish with this season with a performance that really shows what we can do."
Hampshire will arrive at Edgbaston with work still to do to ensure they do not accompany the Bears down. In a remarkably tight Division One table they sit immediate above the relegation line, 13 points ahead of seventh-placed Somerset going into the final round of matches.
"We have had a few big end-of-season tussles with Hampshire over the years and they've always made it hard for us so let's to the same for them," Troughton said. "They are still in jeopardy and it's been a very strange Division One season. We have had a bad one, Essex have had a very good one and everyone else has been inconsistent. For Surrey to be second in the table having won just two games is bizarre."
- Jonathan Trott (Captain)
- Tim Ambrose (Wicket-Keeper)
- Liam Banks
- Ian Bell
- Sam Hain
- Oliver Hannon-Dalby
- Matthew Lamb
- Jeetan Patel
- Boyd Rankin
- Dominic Sibley
- Ryan Sidebottom
- Sunny Singh
- Alex Thomson
- Chris Wright