EXTRA time might be given to batsmen in Essex’s friendly against Kent which begins today.

Eagles’ head coach Paul Grayson said the format of the two-day game may take a different style to their previous friendly with Surrey last week in order to give the top order more time in the middle.

He said: “We might play 90 overs in a day and give someone the chance to bat all day.

“When you only have 50 or 60 overs like we did with Surrey you might start building a good score but then retire.

“We want to see hundreds from our top order this season to help us put big scores on the board, so they might benefit from more time batting.”

The only player unavailable through injury is young fast bowler Reece Topley who has a stress fracture in his back.

Grayson admitted the 20-year-old is also likely to miss out on the season’s opener against Derbyshire on April 13.

“It would be foolish to rush him back,” he said.

“Reece was a big player for us last year and he has a big workload in front of him this season.”