WORCESTERSHIRE CCC head coach Alex Gidman has praised the performance of leg-spinner Brett D'Oliveira ahead of today's LV=Insurance County Championship fixture with Durham at New Road.

D'Oliveira has sent down more deliveries than any other member of the bowling attack and allowed for them to recharge their batteries, which has been hugely beneficial.

Gidman, speaking ahead of today's game, is delighted with the way D’Oliveira has provided excellent support for the four seamers with his leg spin in terms of his economy rate and picking up vital wickets.

It is not just his bowling that has impressed, D'Oliveira's batting has not gone unnoticed, particularly evident with his battling second innings knock at Trent Bridge and his 71 against Derbyshire.

“Brett has been brilliant," said Gidman.

"He has played a pivotal role especially with the ball this summer so far; doing a lot of dirty work for the seamers, giving them the opportunity to rest, and put a huge shift in on some unrewarding wickets.

“He has worked really hard on his bowling in the winter and in between games and he is doing a really good job for us. The hard work is paying off. If you can do that role, pinch a few wickets and keep the lid on the scoring rate, it’s not the most glamorous of jobs but a real important role for the team.

“Brett has become a reliable performer in that part of the game which is a crucial part of the team.”

Following their first win of the season last week against Derbyshire, Worcestershire are back in the conversation for challenging for top spot in Group One.

The Pears are only 13 points behind leaders and reigning champions Essex and will look to emulate their performance from last week.

Gidman said: “We are at the business end of this first part of the season and the lads have fought extremely hard to get themselves in a position where they are still very much in the competition.

“From a group stage point of view, there is all to play for.

“We know we are coming up against a very good side in Durham who beat us a few weeks ago in what was a tough game of cricket.

“But the lads have proved to themselves that they are a really good team as well when they get all facets of their game together.

“They have been threatening to do that for a while and it happened last week (against Derbyshire) so they will be trying their absolute best to emulate that performance.”

Team news:

Worcestershire have named a 13 strong squad – the 11 who played versus Derbyshire minus Alzarri Joseph plus Gareth Roderick, Josh Tongue and Charlie Morris - but there is a doubt over the fitness of Jack Haynes.


Daryl Mitchell

Jake Libby

Tom Fell

Jack Haynes

Gareth Roderick

Ross Whiteley

Brett D’Oliveira

Ben Cox (w)

Ed Barnard

Joe Leach (c)

Dillon Pennington

Josh Tongue

Charlie Morris