Coach Peter Moores says his Lancashire side will face Essex on Monday with plenty of momentum on the back of their impressive start to the new season
Squad: Croft (capt), Brown, Cheetham, Cross (wkt), Hogg, Horton, Keedy, Kerrigan, Maharoof, Mahmood, Moore, Parry, Procter.
The Red Rose dominated their latest LV= County Championship match against Sussex at Hove, but could not quite convert their superiority into a third successive victory.
Now attention switches to the white ball and the Clydesdale Bank 40 competition, in which they also got off to a winning start against the Unicorns at Old Trafford last Sunday afternoon.
James Foster's men, semi-finalists last season, start their campaign with a home match against Nottinghamshire on Sunday.
And Moores and his men know they will provide a stern test of the Lightning's 40-over credentials.
"We have got momentum," confirmed Moores, shortly before starting the journey from Hove to Chelmsford on Friday night. "We've dominated every game we've played. It's been no flash in the pan because we're playing good cricket. We've got to keep doing that for as long as we can.
"Essex is a tough place to go, it's a high-scoring ground – but, as I say, we'll go there with confidence.
"The Unicorns game last week, we won without playing as well as we can do. It indentified a few areas we need to improve on. Hopefully we can do that for this coming game."
Moores has 13-man squad to select from with Tom Smith and Oliver Newby unavailable due to hamstring injuries, and he wants to rest captain Glen Chapple's knee complaint.
Chapple battled through the final day of the Sussex match after taking a bang on his knee in mid follow-through.
"Glen's had this knee injury for a while, but I think he'll be fine. We'll have to make sure that we look after it though," explained Moores. "It was part of the reason why he didn't play against Somerset last week.
"We're going to have be aware that we'll have to manage his workload. He's done a lot of work here (against Sussex), so we'll give him a chance to have a few days of rest ahead of what will be a big game against Warwickshire (in the Championship, starting Wednesday).
"The beauty of a small squad is that people will get chances. Batting wise, we've got people like Agathangelou who's been playing well in the second team. If you're not in the team, you are very close."
All-rounder Steven Croft will skipper the side at Essex in Chapple's absence.
The 26 year-old led the side in the pre-season friendly matches against Kent at Beckenham last month, but this will be the Blackpool born player's first taste of captaincy in a competitive environment. He was on stanby to take the role against the Unicorns last weekend before Chapple passed a late fitness test.
Peter Moores was talking to Graham Hardcastle
Photo (c) SWpix
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