NEW Hampshire captain George Bailey will have a difficult selection meeting ahead of his first game as the county's captain.

Bailey will lead the county for the first team against an Essex side including former England captain Alastair Cook when Hampshire return to Specsavers County Championship action at to The Ford County Ground tomorrow.

His first Championship appearance for Hampshire since 2013 and Rilee Rossouw's return from a finger fracture meant Tom Alsop was left out of the squad for the trip Chelmsford.

But another batsman will have to make way for former Australia star Bailey at the Ford County Ground,where Adam Wheater will be playing his first first-class match against Hampshire since leaving midway through last season.

Director of cricket Giles White said: "We’ve got a tough game ahead of us but the guys are looking forward to getting back to red ball cricket.

“Hopefully we can put in a good performance to begin at Chelmsford and that should set us up nicely for the next couple of games in this competition."

Hampshire (from): Carberry, Adams, Vince, Rossouw, Bailey (c), Dawson, Ervine, McManus (w), Berg, Abbott, Crane, Topley, Edwards.

Essex (from): Chopra, Cook, Westley, Lawrence, Porter, Bopara, Wheater (w), Ten Doeschate (c), Harmer, Wagner, Quinn, Walter, Foster, Browne.