ESSEX will have two new faces in the squad for tomorrow's County Championship match with Leicestershire.
Oliver Newby has joined on a month's loan from Lancashire and Essex have also registered Tanweer Sikander, who plays Minor Counties cricket for Hertfordshire.
They are welcome additions to a squad that is missing David Masters and Graham Napier following the injuries they sustained during last week's draw with Gloucestershire.
Sajid Mahmood is also absent with a side strain, while Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara have joined the England one day squad ahead of their opening match of the season with Scotland next Friday.
Adding to head coach Paul Grayson's selection headache are Nick Browne, Tom Craddock and Tim Phillips, who are all recovering from broken fingers.
But Mark Pettini and Kishen Velani are drafted in while Matt Salisbury has also recovered from injury and could be in line to make his Essex debut having previously played for the Second XI and Cambridge MCCU.
“It’s been a challenging few days trying to get 12 fit players but we do know that we have got some very good players in the squad,” Paul Grayson admitted.
“Our bowling armoury has been very depleted with Tymal Mills being the only fit fast bowler in the professional playing staff, and so we’ve brought in Oliver Newby on loan for a month and we thank Lancashire for their assistance in that.
“He needs to play some cricket, he’s not in their first team at the moment and so it’s a good opportunity for him to show people what he can do and we look forward to working with him.
“Tanweer’s has been training with the club all winter and pre-season and has impressed everyone. He’s an all-rounder who bowls lively medium-pace and we thank Hertfordshire for letting us put a dual registration together.
“He deserves an opportunity and I’m really looking forward to seeing how these lads perform.
"Mark and Kishen might have considered themselves unlucky not to have been in the side earlier but now they have their chance and said before the season that if we were going to achieve things, it was by having a squad of 17 or 18 players.
“Certainly we are using all those people at the moment for one reason or another but I’m more than happy that the eleven that take to the field on Sunday will put in a very good performance.
Essex squad v Leicestershire: Tom Westley, Jaik Mickleburgh, Greg Smith, Mark Pettini, Ben Foakes, James Foster, Kishen Velani, Tanveer Sikander, Oliver Newby, Monty Panesar, Tymal Mills, Matt Salisbury.