Glamorgan v Kent preview
Glamorgan v Kent preview

Kent will be hoping to finally get their first win of the 2021 County Championship season this week when they travel to Wales to take on Glamorgan.

The Spitfires sit bottom of Group Three of the competition with one draw and two defeats to their names so far this year and go into the game after back-to-back home defeats against Yorkshire and Lancashire respectively.

After following on against Lancashire in Canterbury last week, Kent lost by an innings and five runs, taking just two points in the process to leave themselves reeling early on.

But Glamorgan provide them with a chance to kickstart their campaign and push up the group in a bid to reach Division One later in the season.

Although head coach Matt Walker has suggested the team are unlikely to make too many changes, Kent have named a 13-man squad for the fixture, which starts on Thursday: Daniel Bell-Drummond (C), Jordan Cox, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Nathan Gilchrist, Heino Kuhn, Jack Leaning, Marcus O’Riordan, Ollie Robinson, Darren Stevens, Matt Milnes, Miguel Cummins, Fred Klaassen.

Veteran all-rounder Darren Stevens leads the way with both bat and ball for Kent so far this season, scoring 216 runs at an average of 54 with the bat and taking eight wickets at 25.50 with the ball. Ollie Robinson (205 runs at 51.25) and Jordan Cox (198 runs at 39.60) have also impressed with the bat, whilst captain and opener Daniel Bell-Drummond scored a second-innings century against Lancashire, which he will hope will help kickstart his campaign.

The Spitfires are still struggling with injury problems, with Harry Podmore (side), Tim Groenewald (knee), Grant Stewart (abdomen) and Imran Qayyum (shoulder) all still absent.

Vice-captain Daniel Bell-Drummond will continue to lead the side whilst club captain Sam Billings is in the Indian Premier League.

The headline for Glamorgan is that overseas star Marnus Labuschagne is available for the game. The Australian international is ranked third in the ICC test batting rankings and averages over 60 in test cricket, and flew into the country earlier this week. Fellow Australian Michael Neser is also in England but not ready for this game.

Glamorgan squad to face Kent: Chris Cooke (C), Lukas Carey, Kiran Carlson, Joe Cooke, James Harris, Michael Hogan, Marnus Labuschagne, David Lloyd, Billy Root, Andrew Slater, Callum Taylor, Timm van der Gugten, James Weighell.

Like Kent, Glamorgan are yet to win a game this season. After an opening round draw against Yorkshire, they too have suffered back-to-back defeats – against Sussex and Northamptonshire respectively – and are ahead of Kent in the table just thanks to bonus points.

Fans will not be allowed to attend the game in person under government guidelines, but live streams will be available to access through Kent’s website.

All 18 counties, alongside several other organisations and clubs in sport, will boycott social media this weekend in a protest against the companies that continue to allow vile abuse to happen on their platforms. 

The club will cease posting on its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and LinkedIn accounts from 15:00 BST on Friday until 23:59 BST on Monday in solidarity with athletes and those connected to sport that have suffered from disgusting online abuse.

Kent Sports News and all its’ reporters will also be taking part in the blackout.