About the Match
Essex Eagles will host Surrey at The Oval, Chelmsford in their opening match of the NatWest T20 Blast on 20th May; the match will be held under lights and both teams will try to win the toss to keep an upper hand on the proceedings of the game. It is the last game on the first day of this long tournament and spectators will surely want to be enthralled with fireworks across the park; we will have to wait and watch if the Eagles can turn this into a winning performance in front of the home crowd. Surrey will be eager to start the campaign with a win and the contest could well go down to the wire if the weather remains match-friendly.
Ravi Bopara will rightly don the cap as he brings his tremendous experience and all-rounder skills to the table; he has done well with both bat and ball in recent past and can guide the youngsters here. The batting line-up consists of Graham Napier, Tom Westley, overseas players like Ryan ten Doeschate, Jesse Ryder and Ashar Zaidi. Young batsmen Kishen Velani, Nick Browne, Daniel Lawrence and Callum Taylor will use this opportunity to showcase their batting skills.
Pakistani seamer Wahab Riaz will feature in the squad for the first seven games and he will be vital to their pace attack along with other overseas fast-bowlers like Adam Milne and Matt Quinn from New Zealand, Matt Dixon from Australia and domestic players like Jamie Porter, Thomas Moore and Aaron Beard. Aron Nijjar and Ashar Zaidi will add their spin skills to the squad while medium pacers Ravi Bopara, David Masters and other all-rounders give depth to the attack.
Overall, they are a strong unit and can pull out many tricks from their sleeves to stun the opponents here on Friday.
Kumar Sangakkara brings his years of experience and batting talent to the squad; with others like Jason Roy, Aaron Finch, Rory Burns, Dwayne Bravo, all-rounder Chris Morris from South Africa and Azhar Mahmood from Pakistan, Surrey surely has good strength in the batting department. Ben Foakes and Gary Wilson, the Irish batsman, also add depth to the batting line-up; they will need to come out all guns blazing against the hosts in the upcoming match to start the campaign positively.
The bowling unit has speedsters Chris Morris, Azhar Mahmood, Tom and Sam Curran, Ravi Rampaul, Conor McKerr and Mathew Pillans; the spin squad will feature Zafar Ansari, Freddie van den Bergh andBatty himself. Aneesh Kapil, Bravo and James Burke will add variety to the attack and they can help in taking wickets if situation arises.
Surrey has a good mix of experienced players and young talent that will be eagerly waiting to perform well for the team; if batting first, they will need to be careful against the Essex pace battery.
The teams are well-balanced with in-form batsmen and good depth in pace attack; the contest could swing either way but we feel that Essex with the home advantage are clear favorites to win on Friday