SOMERSET are looking to keep the pressure on County Championship leaders Surrey as the four-day season resumes with the visit of Essex on Sunday (11am).

The victory over Worcestershire at New Road in the last round of matches lifted Somerset to second, 34 points behind Surrey - who visit Taunton in the penultimate week of the season on September 18.

Somerset will be hoping their superb recent form with the white ball can be replicated with a red one, with around half of the all-conquering T20 side set to put their whites back on this weekend.

One of those, Championship skipper Tom Abell, said: “It’s easy to forget we’re only just over halfway through the Championship season - there is still a lot of cricket to be played.

“The Essex game will be huge for us, as they all are, and we are hoping the momentum we’ve built up can be transferred to the four-day side.”

Lewis Gregory, who missed the win at New Road but has excelled in charge of the T20 side, will come back in for Peter Trego in the all-rounder’s spot at number seven.

Abell was hoping to have Tim Groenewald back in contention but the seamer - who tops Somerset’s Championship bowling averages with 19 wickets at 23.42 - remains sidelined by a groin injury.

Just behind him in the averages is Josh Davey, who is having a quietly excellent four-day season, while Jamie Overton is fit and firing again and twin brother Craig, though below his best so far this summer, will feel he has a point to prove.

Dom Bess and Jack Leach, meanwhile, will be hoping Somerset opt for two spinners as the late season wickets become more conducive to turn - Max Waller, who has had a superb T20 campaign, is also part of the 13-man squad.

Abell said: “We are blessed to have two spinners of such high quality and it’s always great to see them bowling in tandem.

“But we will have to react to conditions and pick a team that suits.”

The batting is a simpler puzzle to solve, given Marcus Trescothick’s successful return from a broken foot and Azhar Ali’s seamless transition into the top order.

Abell said of the new overseas signing, who announced his arrival with a century at Worcestershire: “Azhar has been phenomenal in the short time he has been here.

“He has been around the club while the T20s have been on and he’s very proactive with helping the younger players. He’s a great person to chat to and learn from.”

Essex, meanwhile, go into the game in fourth after a mixed defence to the title they won in style last season.

The visitors are boosted by the availability of seamer Jamie Porter, who has been named in the last three England squads without making the final cut.

Somerset squad: Tom Abell, Azhar Ali, Dom Bess, Eddie Byrom, Josh Davey, Steve Davies, Lewis Gregory, James Hildreth, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Marcus Trescothick, Max Waller.

For ticket information and more regarding Somerset's upcoming T20 quarter-final against Nottinghamshire in Taunton, click here.