Date & Time: Friday, August 28, 18:30 IST
Venue: County Ground, Hove, Brighton, England
Now, it is the turn of heavyweights to entertain fans on Friday Evening. It is Surrey, who will be locking horns with Luke Wright-led Sussex. Both teams have made fine signings for the all-new edition of T20 Blast. Surrey, obviously, misses the services of Aaron Finch and Jason Roy for this contest but they are equipped with exciting youngsters to make things fall in place.
On the other hand, Sussex will also miss the services of their star bowler Jofra Archer alongside Rashid Khan, who is busy with his CPL stint. However, they have signed Ravi Bopara, who is all set to make his debut against Surrey. Apart from Bopara, the team is boosted with the likes of Luke Wright, Evans and Philip Salt, who make their team a favourite to enter the contest.
Meanwhile, Surrey is heavily dependent on Rory Burns, Mark Stoneman and Will Jacks when it comes to the batting while Gareth Batty will lead the troops with the ball. If there can be any concern for the team, it has to be their fast-bowling section, as they do not have enough experience under their belt.
While the threat of rain looms large, both teams will look to kick-start their campaigns with a win and set the tone for what should be an interesting season of English T20 Blast cricket.
Phil Salt, Luke Wright (C), Ben Brown, Delray Rawlins, Ravi Bopara, Harry Finch/Claydon, Aaron Thomason, Tymal Mills, Ollie Robinson, Danny Briggs, Will Beer
Mark Stoneman, Rory Burns, Scott Borthwick, Gareth Batty (C), Will Jacks, Ben Foakes, Ryan Patel, Jamie Smith/James Taylor, Matt Dunn, Gus Atkinson, Amar Virdi
Once again, the pitch is expected to be batting-friendly at Brighton tonight. The previous stats of the venue say that the pitch is a paradise for the batsmen to go with their shots on the rise. However, the climatic conditions are in favor of the bowlers to make use of the swing with the breeze around. As the game progresses, spinners will also come into play. If rain permits a full game, one can see a high-scoring contest.
After representing Essex for a long time, Ravi Bopara has finally made a switch to play for Sussex. He is all set to make his debut for Sussex and we expect him to make it a solid debut. He has enough experience to tackle the nerves and has the ability to deliver in both sections of the game.
He has been sensational in the last couple of years and one of the players, who are in the line to enter the National Team of England. His ability to knock the ball out of the park with ease and his form in the recent past makes him a must-have player for this contest.
The youngster had a brilliant stint for his side in the last season and looking forward to pressing his case for the national selection with his performances in this Blast. He got the ability to bat steadily at the crease and often plays a key role in winning matches. Jacks can also roll his arms for a couple of overs, which makes him a must-have player in absence of Roy and Finch.
Stoneman is one of those cricketers, who can change the complexion of the game with his big strikes. On his day, he can whack any kind of bowling attack with his brilliant strokes all over the park. He is our big bet for this game, especially, in the absence of regular openers.