Jimmy Adams has told his Hampshire troops: Expect more changes.
The Ageas Bowl outfit will field West Indian fast medium bowler Ruel Brathwaite in today’s Championship division two clash with Northamptonshire.
The 27-year-old has been released from Durham.
Hampshire have failed to mount a promotion challenge in the four-day game this term.
Adams is now keen to use the final four games as a head start to next season.
The Hampshire skipper said: ‘Realistically, we have been short in going for promotion and we need to use these last four games to help get the formula right for next season.
‘We’ve got a big game on Saturday too in the YB40 semi-final but we know that these last four Championship games are still important.
‘In terms of promotion, unfortunately, that is wishful thinking.
‘This season, we’ve struggled to bowl teams out and we’ve struggled for runs at times.
‘So we need to sit down and look at where we are.
‘Looking at it, we haven’t progressed as we would have liked.
‘People might talk about consistency but, at times, that is a by-word for not quite being good enough.’
It’s a typically honest assessment from Adams, who has some tough decisions to make on players’ futures with an eye on next season.
And he has not spared himself from the scrutiny.
He said: ‘I’m sure there are a few guys who will feel they are playing for their futures.
‘We’ve all been in that situation. Some of us have been fortunate to get through it and others haven’t had the same fortune.
‘It’s never a nice period of the year but it’s part of what we do.
‘It’s tough for the manager or coach and it’s even tougher for the players involved.
‘You don’t want to put any undue pressure on anyone but a lot of people are in that position.
‘No matter how experienced you are, you are always looking over your shoulder in this game.
‘And I’m in a trot where I am short of four-day runs.
‘I would dearly love to turn that around myself.’
What has been a settled four-day side has given way in recent weeks.
And with James Vince (knee) and Chris Wood (rested) not involved along with England duo Michael Carberry and Danny Briggs, it will be an unfamiliar line-up again.
Michael Roberts, Matt Coles and Brad Taylor are expected to feature.
Brathwaite is set to get his debut and Michael Bates may return to keep wicket with Adam Wheater playing as a specialist batsman.
Adams said: ‘We’ve gone from having a very settled side to selection being mayhem.
‘Vincey is struggling with a knee niggle so we want to get him right for Saturday.
‘And Woody is being rested so Ruel Brathwaite comes in.
‘I think Durham have had their salary cap issues so we’re having a look at him with an eye on a future down our way. He got five wickets in the seconds last week so it fits well for him to play this week.
‘He managed to get released from his contract so he is a free agent.’
Meanwhile, Test cricket will return to the Ageas Bowl next summer.
England will face India in the third Test as part of the five-match series on July 27-31 at Hampshire’s venue, subject to confirmation following a final facility inspection amid the ongoing hotel development.