Peter Moores has likened the challenge faced by Lancashire against Worcestershire at New Road this week to the one they faced going to play then Division Two leaders Northamptonshire at Wantage Road last month.
The Red Rose county start their 12th match of their Division Two campaign against the Pears on Thursday at the top of the table having won four out of their last five matches, including a win against Northants.
They have a firm grip on the title race and an even firmer grip on the promotion race with more than a quarter of the season to go. Worcester were their opening week opponents at Emirates Old Trafford in April, a match which finished in a draw.
Glen Chapple leads a 13-man squad at New Road.
Squad: Glen Chapple (capt), Andrea Agathangelou, Gareth Cross (wkt), Kyle Hogg, Paul Horton, Simon Katich, Arron Lilley, Oliver Newby, Ashwell Prince, Luke Procter, Luis Reece, Tom Smith, Wayne White
“It's a tough game actually. Worcestershire are one of those sides who are a bit hot and cold, but they are a decent team. To go to their place and win will be a good challenge,” said coach Moores, fresh from Monday night’s YB40 home win over Hampshire Royals.
“It will be no different to when we went to Northants. They've got some decent bowlers up front who you've got to get through and some decent batters at the top, people like Moeen Ali and Samaraweera. We're going to have to play well, but we're looking forward to it.”
The draw against Worcestershire was followed hot on the heels by another home draw against Kent. They then sneaked two come-from-behind wins against Glamorgan and Essex and struggled to get off and running in the YB40.
Since then, the odd result apart in Twenty20, things have gone swimmingly for the county, especially in Championship and 40-over cricket.
“We're playing good cricket at the moment,” added Moores. “We've got good depth in the side. We've had quite a few changes from the one-day to the four-day team, which has kept us hungry because people like Reece and Agathangelou have come back in and given us a really good injection. That will happen over the next few days, and it's kept us fresh.”
Worcestershire are on the fringes of the promotion race and desperately need a win soon to step up the pressure on the teams above them.
Picture (c) Simon Pendrigh