Essex continue their LV= Insurance County Championship campaign when they entertain Durham at The Cloudfm County Ground starting today (Thursday).

The defending champions are looking to restart an enviable record of home successes having previously won 11 successive red-ball matches at Chelmsford before the run ended with the drawn affair with Worcestershire in the opening match of the season.

Captain Tom Westley is expecting a tough test for his team, saying: “It is disappointing to lose the winning streak but we are a very hard team to beat at home and fundamentally that is what we want to achieve.

“Hopefully, this match gives us the opportunity to start another winning streak.

“There are no easy games in our group, they are all difficult matches and looking at the scorecards in the first round of matches showed that.

“Some of the sides that you expect to do well because they have been in Division One in the last few years have had some really tough games.

“I can’t remember us having played Durham in a first-class game for a very long time, so they are coming to Chelmsford to play the defending County Champions and holders of the Bob Willis Trophy, so they are obviously going to want to beat us.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game and we will need to be playing our best cricket if we want to come away with a win.”

Essex have named an unchanged 14-man squad for the fixture.