HAVING been knocked out of the T20 Blast at the quarter-final stage last Thursday, Somerset's sole focus is now their survival fight in Division One of the County Championship.

They are back in action tomorrow (Monday) with a tricky trip to runaway leaders Essex, who have won six of their nine matches so far having only been promoted last season.

Essex earned an eight-wicket victory in April's reverse fixture in Taunton, with England pair Alastair Cook (110) and Tom Westley (86*) making light work of a potentially tough chase on the final day - neither batsman will be available this time around due to their Test match commitments.

The hosts are bolstered by the availability of Pakistan star Mohammad Amir, who has taken 12 wickets at 13.92 in his opening two Championship matches for the leaders and is likely to pose problems for a Somerset batting line-up that has looked frail against the red ball at times this season.

Somerset, on the other hand, will not benefit from the presence of an overseas player for this match, with Fakhar Zaman now no longer joining the club as the search for Dean Elgar's replacement goes on.

Despite Jim Allenby's injury, there is still no place in the squad for Peter Trego, with Roelof van der Merwe taking the all-rounder spot on a pitch which may be conducive to spin - no-one has taken more Division One wickets so far this season than Essex's South African twirler Simon Harmer (48).

Paul van Meekeren is rewarded for his impressive T20 performances with a place in the 13-man squad, while Matthew Maynard has given a strong hint that Dom Bess may be in line to play his first Championship game away from Taunton.

Speaking to the club website, he said: "We have got to play some good cricket and we have beaten Yorkshire so we know we can compete well with any side in this league if we perform to our ability.

"There is no doubt that Essex are stronger with Amir playing but they we cant just focus on him because they have other players who are taking wickets for them and they have got a strong attack.

“We have got to play their whole attack not just one player. However, it will be good for the likes of Dom Bess who will have some footholes to bowl into!

“We had a really good net yesterday and will have another practice this afternoon so are really looking forward to seeing that fight that we have shown over the last six weeks or so.”

Asessing the run-in, Maynard said: "All the sides have got to play each other and I think that the mathematics of our situation could change game by game.

"In the short term, if we can get a win and a good strong draw in the next two matches then will be getting very close and that’s all we can do.

"We want to get closer with each game that we play to narrow that gap between us and sixth place then try to move up the table as far as possible.”

Somerset squad: Marcus Trescothick, Eddie Byrom, Tim Rouse, James Hildreth, Tom Abell (c), Steve Davies (wk), Roelof van der Merwe, Craig Overton, Dom Bess, Jack Leach, Tim Groenewald, Paul van Meekeren, Josh Davey