Sussex head coach Mark Davis says he is backing his batsmen to deliver as a result of picking just five bowlers in the Specsavers County Championship.
Essex closed day two at Hove on 252-7 after bad light stopped play with Tom Westley’s 86 the top score after England captain Alastair Cook making just one.
Sussex were bowled out for 360 in the morning after Chris Nash has starred with 119 yesterday.
Davis said: “The first two days have seen some really good cricket played. I thought we bowled good lines and length today.
“George Garton bowled with good aggression and Danny Briggs held an end for us. Early in the season that’s going to be his role but hopefully later on, when it gets drier, he will be even more of a threat.
“We want to go in with five bowlers because we feel that gives us the best chance of winning. It means our batsmen and all-rounders have to deliver but we’re backing them to do that and by having five bowlers they can operate in short, sharp spells.
“We are missing our captain Luke Wright again but had a minor wrist operation today and should be able to practice in five to six days and should be okay to play in our next Championship game against Leicester on May 1.”
Essex batting coach Anthony McGrath added: “I think the game is pretty evenly poised after two days. Both teams will feel if they play good cricket from here they have got a good chance of winning.
“It’s a funny sort of pitch, wickets have tended to fall just when you think there is a good partnership building.
“There is definitely a bit in it for the seamers but I thought we batted well. Tom Westley’s in good form and there was a good little partnership at the end for us between Ryan ten Doeschate and Graham Napier. Hopefully they can continue that tomorrow.”
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