David Masters missing for Essex

David Masters, who is injured

David Masters, who is injured - Credit: Archant

ESSEX will be without their leading bowler David Masters when they meet Northamptonshire in the LV= County Championship fixture that starts at Wantage Road on Wednesday.

While ten of the players who played in last week’s drawn match with Gloucestershire are named again, influential seamer Masters is suffering with a slight side strain sustained in that match.

His absence affords an opportunity to young pace prospect Reece Topley who is named in the 12-man squad together with leg-spinner Tom Craddock.

Reflecting on the Gloucestershire match at The Essex County Ground, head coach Paul Grayson took positives from the performances of a number of his batsmen.

“For this time of the year, it was a good wicket to bat on and we reached 350 pretty comfortably really,” he said.

“Tom Westley was outstanding and he got runs at Fenner’s recently so I’m delighted with the start he’s made. Ravi (Bopara) looked a class act as well along with Fozzy (James Foster) who got a good fifty and Mark Pettini played well. So overall, it was a good work out for our batsmen and it was nice to get four batting points.

“I suppose the only down side was our bowling on the first day in the morning session but the lads are better than what they showed in that session. Lessons have been learnt from that and I’m expecting us to bowl a lot better than that this week against Northamptonshire.

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“We’ll be without Dave Masters who has a side strain but it’s not a tear and by leaving him out against Northamptonshire, it gives him a couple of weeks to recover before we play Hampshire in our next home game, which is followed by Lancashire at Old Trafford.

“We are looking forward to the Northamptonshire match and it’s good to be able to get Reece back into the squad as well. We need good back-up players and competition for places so it’s good to be able to bring a quality bowler into the squad.

“Sajid Mahmood is unlucky that he hasn’t got the nod but we felt that, like for like, Reece would give us similar qualities to that offered by David Masters.

“He got wickets last week in the second team match versus Derbyshire; he’s fresh and ready to go.”

Essex squad: J Foster (capt/wkt), T Westley, B Quiney, B Foakes, R Bopara, M Pettini, G Smith, G Napier, M Chambers, R Topley, T Mills, T Craddock.

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