Northants aiming to show true colours as they head to Essex

Northamptonshire will be looking to set the record straight when they travel to Chelmsford to take on Essex in the LV= Insurance County Championship this week.

By Jeremy Casey
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 7:51 am
Northants head coach John Sadler
Northants head coach John Sadler

It is only a matter of months since the County suffered a bruising defeat at the hands of the south east county in the final match of the 2021 campaign at the end of September, losing by an innings and 44 runs in an encounter that only lasted 97 overs!

Northants were rushed out for meagre scores of 81 and 45 over a chastening day and a bit, with Essex's modest first innings total of 170 all out proving to be more than enough in what was David Ripley's final game in charge as head coach.

The County return to Chelmsford for Thursday's match (start 11am) with John Sadler now in charge, and he is keen for his side to show their true selves on this occasion and offer Essex a far more testing challenge.

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"Yeah, that was a difficult game," said Sadler, who was assistant to Ripley last season.

"It was the end of the season, and we probably got the decison wrong at the toss on that pitch.

"We batted when we perhaps should have bowled, especially when you consider we bowled them out cheaply as well in their first innings.

"At the halfway point we were actually right in that game, but then they bowled really well in the second innings and what happened, happened.

"So it is what it is, but that has been and gone now. It's a new season and we will go there aiming to compete."

Northants go into the game unbeaten, having drawn their opening encounters, both at the County Ground, against Gloucestershire and Yorkshire.

Essex for their part are coming off the back of a 10-wicket hammering at the hands of Warwickshire.

But Sadler isn't looking too deeply into that result, and said: "They are a team with quality players, and they have have Test experience.

"We know that on their day they are one of the best teams in the country, so we are going to have to be at our best.

"Alastair Cook at the top of the order is obviously still a threat, so he is somebody we will hope to get early."

Former County skipper Adam Rossington will not play for Essex, as he is not allowed to play against his parent club as part of his loan arrangement with Northants.