Andrew Strauss eyes Middlesex runs ahead of West Indies Tests
England captain Andrew Strauss has been named in Middlesex's squad to play Durham in Division One of the County Championship on Thursday.
Strauss is available for three four-day games before the first Test against the West Indies, after struggling with the bat during the winter.
The first of three Tests against the West Indies begins at Lord's on 17 May, with England then facing South Africa.
Ian Bell will play for Warwickshire against Lancashire in Liverpool.
England were bowled out for under 200 four times in six innings during the Test series whitewash to Pakistan at the start of the year.
This run was continued in the first game against Sri Lanka when they collapsed to defeat after losing their last six wickets for 31 runs.
England summer Test dates
- v West Indies : 17 May (Lord's), 25 May (Trent Bridge), 7 June (Edgbaston)
- v South Africa 19 July (The Oval), 2 August (Headingley), 16 August (Lord's)
They recovered in the second and final Test of the series when Strauss, Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen all hit at least half-centuries in the first innings before they chased down a winning target of 94 in less than 20 overs.
Along with Strauss, who averaged just 26.4 with the bat during the five winter Tests against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, England bowler Steven Finn was also included in the Middlesex squad to face Durham at Lord's.
After the Durham game, Middlesex host Worcestershire on 3 May before travelling to Trent Bridge to face Nottinghamshire on 9 May.
While Strauss is available for all three of those Middlesex matches, Finn will only play only two of the three Championship games.
Elsewhere, Samit Patel will make his second consecutive appearance for Nottinghamshire against Somerset at Trent Bridge, while Ravi Bopara links up with Essex for their Division Two fixture against Yorkshire at Headingley.