Desperate to shake off his indifferent form before the "significant" series against world number one India, England captain Andrew Strauss will turn up for Somerset in the tour match that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men will play before the four Tests.
Strauss, who has retired from limited-overs internationals, just led England to a 1-0 Test series triumph over Sri Lanka but his own batting form has been disappointing and he will return to his county Middlesex for a four-day County Championship match against Gloucestershire now. But that is the only match that the team, which Strauss has represented all his professional career, has lined up in the next three weeks.
This has prompted Strauss to play with Somerset (July 15-17) to be ready for the big four-match series starting July 21.
"Andy Flower (coach) and I looked at the schedule in the three weeks leading up to the first Test against India and looked at what opportunities there might be for me to play cricket," Strauss said in a statement.
"We saw that Somerset had a tour match against India and we decided to approach them and see if they would be willing for me to play.
"We were very sensitive to Somerset's feelings on this and if at any stage we felt they weren't comfortable with the idea then it would have been a non-starter," he added.
"But they were very keen on the idea and we're very grateful for them to give me the opportunity to play some cricket before the first npowerTest match and hopefully I can spend a bit of time with their young cricketers at the same time," the 34-year-old Strauss said.
"It helps my preparation for the Test series and hopefully it will help Somerset and ultimately it will help out England's preparations for the Test series as well," the left-hander added.
Talking about the India series, Strauss said his side would be ready for the challenge.
"We're looking forward to the challenge of taking on India, they are the number one side in the world, and we hope we can be a difficult proposition for them," Strauss told reporters.
"I think it's going to be a pretty significant series. We know India are a very confident side in their own right and are used to winning themselves," the Ashes-winning captain added.
"We've got our home conditions, and we back ourselves to beat anyone in them. But it's going to be a tough series and will hinge on those important moments and sessions -- and we've got to make sure we're able to grasp them."
Strauss said the series against Sri Lanka was a frustrating one for him and he is desperate to regain form against India.
"...I'm determined to make sure I come back strong against India. I don't see any reason why I can't -- but I've got to put in some decent work over the next few weeks.
"I'm frustrated. But every Test batsman has times when he doesn't get as many runs as he likes." said Strauss, who has scored over 6,000 runs at an average of 42 with 19 hundreds in 85 Tests.
"Thankfully, from a team point of view, the rest of the guys stood up and made amends for the fact I didn't get many (runs). But I'm going to make sure I'm on my game for the India series."
Asked about his apparent unease against left-arm seam bowling, Strauss said, "It's not something I'm spending a lot of time thinking about. Obviously it's important with the India series coming up. They'll have Zaheer Khan, and I'll do some work on that."
"But the most important thing for me is getting myself in the right frame of mind, physically and technically," he added.