Old Trafford in mind as Ripley ponders rotation options

Ben Duckett could return to the Steelbacks' side for the trip to Sussex but he won't be keeping wicket
Ben Duckett could return to the Steelbacks' side for the trip to Sussex but he won't be keeping wicket
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Northamptonshire are in good form in the Yorkshire Bank 40 but the County Championship is at the forefront of their minds.

The County head to Arundel to face Sussex on Sunday looking for a fourth straight limited overs victory but with a crucial four-day clash with Lancashire on the horizon - it gets under way in Manchester on Thursday - a number of senior players could be given the weekend off.

And while Ripley would field his bext XI in every game if he could, that simply isn’t feasible with every county falling into the same category.

He said: “We’ll probably choose to rest a couple of guys who have had a busy period.

“It’s a big game at Lancashire next week and the likes of Hally (Andrew Hall), Midders (James Middlebrook) and Jumble (David Sales), who have played a lot of cricket, could do with a couple of days off.

“Not many, if any, counties can field their best players all of the time and we’re in three competitions at the minute.

“We want to be careful and make the most of the resources that we’ve got and if that means giving people a couple of days break then so be it.”

If the aforementioned trio do miss the trip down south, not forgetting that Rob Newton is out with an ankle injury suffered in the victory at Kent a fortnight ago, then it will mean opportunities for the likes of Christian Davis, Rob Keogh and Ben Duckett.

Two of those are likely to start, as is Muhammad Azharullah, but Ripley stated that should Duckett return to the side, David Murphy will keep the wicket-keeping role.

He added: (David) Murphy will definitely be keeping.

“He got his chance when Ben injured himself and he’s taken that well.

He’s contributed to the fielding effort, his work up to the stumps has been excellent and I’m loathe to change that.

“We’ll wait to make a decision on who replaces Rob (Newton) but we’ve got a couple of good options in Christian (Davis) and Ben (Duckett) and if Midders doesn’t play then Rob Keogh will come in.”

Northants from: Wakely, Sales, Coetzer, Spriegel, Davis, Duckett, Crook, Murphy, Willey, Middlebrook, Hall, Daggett, Azharullah, Keogh.