Gloucestershire cricket: Let's build on decent start, urges Alex Gidman
Gloucestershire skipper Alex Gidman reckons victory over Glamorgan in Bristol this week will represent a 'very encouraging' start to the County Championship season.
Forced to play their first three fixtures away from home, Gloucestershire have done rather better than expected, claiming a 33-point haul from victory over Hampshire, a draw at Kent and defeat against Essex at Chelmsford.
Having emerged from such a tough start relatively unscathed, the Glo'sters have a chance to establish themselves among the early pace-setters in Division Two.
"If you had offered me 33 points from those three games at the start of the season, I would have taken it," said Gidman, who has seen his team bounce back strongly from the wreckage of an innings defeat in the opening fixture against Essex.
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"We are already third in the table and that is a decent position this early in the season. Now we have to build on that and playing at home will certainly help."
Gloucestershire will seek to make home advantage count in their favour and Gidman admits returning to Bristol will feel like starting the season all over again.
He added: "Playing three away games on the trot felt like a mini-tour and it will be great to get back to Bristol and play on our own ground and in front of our supporters. In a way, it is a new beginning to the season for us and we need to make the most of it."
In stark contrast, Glamorgan have made a terrible start to the campaign, losing their opening three fixtures.
However, a poor forecast could yet save the Welsh country from a fourth successive defeat as the wet weather is set to continue at least until the weekend.
David Payne, who sustained a side injury at Canterbury after bowling just 5.3 overs is likely to be out of action for a few weeks, so James Fuller should return to the line-up after being omitted against Kent.
At least Gloucestershire's batting will be strengthened by the arrival of overseas signing Kane Williamson.
Trialist Benny Howell is the man expected to make way for the New Zealand Test star, who will bat at number three.
New signing Dan Housego remains sidelined by a shoulder injury.
Gloucestershire (from): Dent, Coughtrie, Williamson, A Gidman, Marshall, W Gidman, Cockbain, Young, Muchall, Fuller, Saxelby, Howell.