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County Cricket

2018 county cricket previews: Surrey

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

In partnership with the Cricketers’ Who’s Who, here’s Wisden’s profile of Surrey for 2018.

FORMED: 1845
GROUND: The Kia Oval, London
CAPTAIN: Rory Burns (Championship and RL50), Jade Dernbach (T20)
2017 RESULTS: CC1: 3/8; RL50: Runners-up; T20: Quarter-finalists
HONOURS: Championship: (19) 1890, 1891, 1892, 1894, 1895, 1899, 1914, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1971, 1999, 2000, 2002; Gillette/NatWest/C&G/FP Trophy: 1982; Benson & Hedges Cup: (3) 1974, 1997, 2001; Pro40/National League/ CB40/YB40/RL50: (2) 2003, 2011; Sunday League: 1996; T20 Cup: 2003

The lowdown

The present Surrey squad is stronger than it has been for years but the pressure is growing to produce a trophy. And now they are without Kumar Sangakkara, who in three seasons at The Oval made 4,391 runs (19 centuries) across all formats and had an immeasurable influence on the county’s young guns. Surrey are also hampered by increasing international call-ups, with Tom Curran (who will also be at the IPL) now part of England’s white-balls plans and his younger brother Sam not far behind.

Rory Burns has taken over the four-day and 50-over captaincy from Gareth Batty, still going strong at 40, while Jade Dernbach is the new T20 skipper. Last year’s Championship campaign was a draw fest – 10 of them in all – and testament to a struggling bowling attack. The burden is eased by the return of Rikki Clarke, part of a swap deal in which Dom Sibley went to Warwickshire last August, overseas signing Mitchell Marsh and the signature of Morne Morkel, recently retired from international cricket, on a Kolpak deal.

Surrey are well-equipped for another assault on the short formats – if they can overcome the psychological trauma of losing the last three Lord’s finals. No one has a more frightening T20 opening pair than Jason Roy and Aaron Finch, who returns on a two-year contract.

Transfers

IN: Mitchell Marsh (Aus), Aaron Finch (Aus, T20)
OUT: Ravi Rampaul (Derbyshire), Kumar Sangakkara (retired)

Head coach: Michael Di Venuto

A prolific batsman for Sussex, Derbyshire and Durham from 1999-2012, Di Venuto took over from Graham Ford before the 2016 season, having been Australia’s batting coach for three years. Former England batsman Vikram Solanki is his new deputy, with Stuart Barnes departing after five years at the club. Chris Taylor, the former Gloucestershire batsman and England fielding coach, has joined as fielding consultant.

Wisden prediction

CC1: 2/8
RL50: Runners-up
T20: Champions

CLICK FOR FULL LIST OF 2018 WISDEN PREDICTIONS AND PROFILES OF EVERY COUNTY

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