Dizzy’s Sussex can put Division Two rivals in a spin
Ace coach Jason Gillespie can inspire south-coast side
starts 11am Friday
If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood you call the Ghostbusters, but if it’s County Championship success you crave then there is only one man for the job: Jason Gillespie.
In five seasons with Yorkshire ‘Dizzy’ led the White Rose to promotion in his first campaign before finishes of second, first, first and third in the top tier. His new employers Sussex will be hoping the Australian can bring about a similar change of fortunes on the south coast.
Relegated in 2015, Sussex have failed to justify their position towards the head of the Division Two market in each of the past two seasons, finishing fourth on both occasions, but with Gillespie guiding a talented squad that could be about to change.
Captain Ben Brown leads a talented young outfit who won half of their 14 games in 2017 which included a crushing innings defeat of second-tier winners Worcestershire at Hove.
Indian seamer Ishant Sharma has arrived to offset the loss of Chris Jordan and rising star Jofra Archer to early-season IPL commitments. Twenty-year-old left-armer George Garton is already on England’s radar and opener Luke Wells topped the divisional runscoring charts with 1,292 runs last season.
Having won the Championship on the final day of the 2016 season, Middlesex suffered the ignominy of relegation the following season albeit in controversial circumstances after being docked two points for a slow over rate in an abandoned game.
With Toby Roland-Jones spearheading their attack they have an obvious chance of bouncing straight back and providing England call-ups don’t get in the way, TRJ could have another prolific season.
Roland-Jones was restricted to just nine four-day games last term but still claimed 28 wickets while in the title-winning campaign of 2016 he claimed 54 scalps.
Against lesser batsman he could have a prolific season.
2pts e-w 11-2 bet365, Betway
T Roland-Jones top wicket-taker
1pt e-w 10-1 bet365
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