Russell back in mix for vital derby encounter

CHRIS RUSSELL: Fit after a side strain.

CHRIS RUSSELL: Fit after a side strain.

First published in Sport

PACEMAN Chris Russell has been added to the Worcestershire squad for today’s crucial Royal London One-Day Cup clash with Gloucestershire at New Road (10.30am).

Russell was the County’s leading wicket-taker in the NatWest T20 Blast with 16 victims in eight appearances.

He is in contention to start his first one-day cup clash of the campaign after recovering from a side strain.

Director of cricket Steve Rhodes has named a 13-strong squad — the 11 in action in the abandoned match with Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl on Monday night plus Russell and Tom Fell.

Worcestershire are currently fifth in the table with two matches to play against Gloucestershire and tomorrow’s meeting with Leicestershire at Grace Road.

The top four go through to the quarter-finals with the leading two in each group having home advantage in the last eight.

Rhodes has to decide who will open in place of Richard Oliver, who has been left out of the cup squad for the second successive match.

He admits everyone is coming to terms with playing 50-over cricket this season after it replaced the 40-over game.

Rhodes said: “It is different to 40-over cricket with the new rules and all of us are coming to terms with playing this format, Daryl Mitchell as captain as well.

“There is a learning curve there for him as a captain.

“It is quite tough cricket and is completely different to the 40-over game and the international rules of the two new balls and the four men outside the circle.

“If you get guys in, that last 10 overs are an absolute nightmare.”

Worcester then go from Leicestershire straight into an LV= County Championship Division Two clash at home to Gloucestershire on Friday.

Skipper Mitchell said: “It is a busy week. It’s going to be hard work.

“We might have to try and protect the bowlers in particular at certain points. It’s particularly tough on them.

“From a batsman’s point of view, if you have a low score, you have a chance of getting runs the next day so it’s not too bad for the batters.

“However, for the bowlers, we might have to give a couple a rest here and there but fortunately we’ve got some quality.

“Chris Russell is getting back to fitness as well so we will have options there.”

Worcestershire (from): Mitchell, Kohler-Cadmore, Fell, Kervezee, Whiteley, Andrew, Cox, Leach, Choudhry, Shantry, McClenaghan, Morris, Russell.

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