Warwickshire: Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell bolster injury-hit Bears

Injury-hit Warwickshire have been handed a useful pair of reinforcements for this week's County Championship game against Sussex at Hove - in the form of Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott.

Ian Westwood (ankle) and Keith Barker (side strain) are out, while there are doubts over Rikki Clarke (hamstring) and Jim Troughton (shoulder).

But Bell and Trott had already been made available to play in this game.

And England hopeful Boyd Rankin is also fit to play after a foot injury.

Skipper Troughton is still struggling with the shoulder injury he suffered trying to take a catch during the county champions' first win of the season against Durham a week-and-a-half ago.

And Clarke, the hero of the Bears' unlikely draw against Somerset at Taunton on Sunday, was struggling with a hamstring injury in his last-wicket stand with Oliver Hannon-Dalby.

But 6ft 8in Irish fast bowler Rankin at last looks like being fit for his first start of the season, while the England and Wales Cricket Board had already earmarked Bell and Trott to play in this match, as well as the next one against Middlesex (8-11 May) and the YB40 game against Kent (6 May) as a warm-up for England's first Test against New Zealand at Lord's, starting on 16 May.

"We've got plans in place," Troughton told BBC WM.

Warwickshire's form so far

  • 24-27 March v MCC (Abu Dhabi). Won by an innings & 29 runs
  • 2-7 April v Oxford MCCU (The Parks). Won by 21 runs
  • 10-13 April v Derbyshire (Edgbaston). Match drawn
  • 17-20 April v Durham (Edgbaston). Won by 318 runs
  • 25-28 April v Somerset (Taunton). Match drawn
  • 1-4 May v Sussex (Hove)
  • 8-11 May v Middlesex (Edgbaston)

"It's touch and go for next week for me and Clarkey, who's struggling with his hamstring.

"But Bell and Trott coming in will be handy and Boyd Rankin will be fit."

Warwickshire might have been going into Wednesday's game on the back of their first Championship defeat since last July, also at Taunton.

But, just as Somerset's last pair held out to win on that occasion, this time it was the Bears' last pair that saved the game.

"We've had some serious games of cricket against these guys over the last couple of years," grinned Troughton.

"This one was a real nail-biter, reminiscent of England saving that Test match at Cardiff.

"We were a little surprised they didn't put us back into bat on Friday evening and that they then went on batting as long as they did.

"But we were champions for a reason. We batted well in the second innings and, although the three points we got for a draw seems small reward right now for the effort we put in, we'll go to Hove in good nick."

Troughton, Clarke and Rankin are all named in a 13-man squad for Hove.

Opener Will Porterfield has been left out and Oliver Hannon-Dalby is out with a broken arm, suffered in Sunday's match-saving last-wicket partnership with Clarke at Taunton.

Warwickshire squad to face Sussex (from): J O Troughton (capt), V Chopra, I R Bell, I J L Trott, L J Evans, T R Ambrose (wk), R Clarke, T P Milnes, A Javed, J S Patel, C J Wright, W B Rankin, C R Woakes.