WORCESTERSHIRE director of cricket Steve Rhodes has named a 13-man squad for the LV= County Championship Division Two clash with Derbyshire at Derby starting on Sunday.
Rhodes has added former Derbyshire all-rounder Ross Whiteley and leg-spinner Brett D’Oliveira to the players on duty during the first Championship defeat of the season against Gloucestershire at New Road 11 days ago.
Whiteley, who played in the opening nine Championship matches of the campaign, has recently impressed in white-ball cricket including an unbeaten 84 with nine sixes in the home NatWest T20 Blast clash with Derbyshire.
Paceman Mitchell McClenaghan has been given permission by New Zealand Cricket to remain at New Road for the remainder of the season.
The Gloucestershire setback came at the climax of a demanding schedule of games and Rhodes gave the majority of his players a nine-day break before they reconvened on Wednesday at New Road.
He said: “The lads have had quite a long break.
“The coaching staff and medical staff have been in and out and with lots of things to do.
“But the players, which is the most important thing, have freshened up now and I’m sure will be raring to go for the last 12 days of the season (against Derbyshire, Surrey and Essex).
“In the Gloucestershire game, it was an important toss and, without going back over too much old ground, it put us on the back-foot straight away.
“It also came on the back of a heavy, heavy schedule and I think the lads were absolutely out on their feet to a certain extent.
“But they’ve got no excuses this time around. We should be ready and have got three really good practice sessions prior to the Derby game and we will look forward to it.”
Worcestershire lead Division Two by 25 points from Hampshire and, as the current table stands, need a maximum of 31 more to ensure promotion.
Worcestershire (from): Mitchell, Oliver, Fell, Kervezee, Kohler-Cadmore, Cox, Leach, Choudhry, Shantry, McClenaghan, Morris, Whiteley, D’Oliveira.
Meanwhile, Moeen Ali is hoping he will be available for Worcestershire's final two Championship matches of the season against Surrey at New Road and Essex at Chelmsford.
The England all-rounder is keeping his fingers crossed he will be given permission to complete the campaign with his county.
Moeen has enjoyed a memorable first summer of Test cricket with his off-spin bringing him 19 wickets in the 3-1 series win over India.
He is now part of the squad for the one-day series against India.
Moeen said: It would be nice to play the last two games. If England allow me, then definitely I would love to come back and play the last two games — and hopefully get promoted.
“Surrey and Essex will be two tough games.
“They are also in contention for promotion and we’ve got to play well and hopefully bang out the runs and the wickets.”
Moeen admits he keeps in constant touch with events at New Road. He said: “Worcestershire is part of me.”