There is a raw look to the Warwickshire side cobbled together to face Nottinghamshire in the Championship match starting at Edgbaston this morning.
Injuries and England calls have robbed the club of at least half a dozen first-choice players, resulting in a new look to the team.
There is still plenty of talent in this Warwickshire side. But it is asking a great deal of the team to go toe-to-toe with arguably their keenest Championship rivals. Three of the top six have yet to score a Championship century while none of the bowlers have taken a five-wicket haul this season.
The latest casualties are Heath Streak, who has almost certainly played his last match for Warwickshire, and Trevor Penney. Had Penney been fit he would have played his first Championship match since September 2003.
He appears to be desperately susceptible to injury these days and hurt his back late in Monday night's Twenty20 Cup quarter-final defeat to Surrey at the Oval.
The situation has once again sparked calls for the club to sign a second overseas player. Various players' agents have contacted the club and the cricket committee met last night to discuss the matter.
Indications are, however, that Nick Knight, the captain, remains reluctant to bring in short-term recruits as it unsettles the dressing-room and is a disincentive to youngsters at the club.
There are two ways of interpreting Knight's decision - he deserves credit for his long-term thinking and for sticking to his guns or his stubborn refusal to alter his policy is undermining his side's chances of retaining the Championship title by placing them at a disadvantage to their rivals.
Knight has always said that his job is to lay the foundations for years of success. He has already won the Championship - very much against the odds - by pursuing the same policy, so deserves patience at a difficult time.
Warwickshire supporters should count themselves fortunate to have a captain who cares for the team's long-term welfare more than their record.
Not all clubs can make such a claim. The club have taken steps to strengthen their resources, however. They asked Makhaya Ntini if he was able to bring forward his arrival at Edgbaston. The South African fast bowler could not oblige and will thus arrive on July 30.
Warwickshire have also registered 21-year-old Luke Parker. The former Oxford UCCE captain, whose 51 not out gave British Universities a two-wicket win over Bangladesh on Monday, has been scoring heavily in the Second XI and looks to have a decent technique and temperament. He and James Anyon will make their Championship debuts today.
The 18-year-old Moeen Ali may feel unfortunate to miss out. He has struggled in the seconds and in club cricket, however, and has yet to translate undoubted talent into runs. They will surely come.
If the lack of experience in the side is one concern, the lack of form is even more worrying. Knight, Dougie Brown and Jonathan Trott are the only members of the side to have scored centuries this season but none would claim to be at the top of their game. Brown and Knight's centuries were in April.
Alex Loudon, meanwhile, will need to progress beyond attractive cameos if he is to win matches for the club. Jim Troughton, averaging 21 this year, could not pick a better time to rediscover his form.
One other name that should be considered is Keith Bell. The Coventry and North Warwickshire opener yesterday sealed a record-breaking debut for Staffordshire against Hertfordshire, striking his second century of the match. He is, of course, the brother of Ian but deserves recognition in his own right. If Warwickshire do not take another look at him you can be sure another county will.
Even before these latest losses, Warwickshire were outplayed in three of their last five Championship matches and will do well to withstand the challenge of Nottinghamshire. The visitors, led for the last time by New Zealand's Stephen Fleming, are second in the Championship, only a point-andahalf behind Kent with a match in hand. Their side also includes two England bowlers who rejected Edgbaston in favour of Trent Bridge; Graeme Swann and fit-again left- arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom.
WARWICKSHIRE: I Westwood I, N Knight (capt.), J Trott, J Troughton, A Loudon, L Parker, T Frost (wkt.), D Brown, N Carter, D Pretorius, J Anyon.
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE (from): D Bicknell, J Gallian, R Warren, S Fleming (capt.), D Hussey, C Read (wkt.), M Ealham, G Swann, G Smith, A Harris, M Footitt, R Sidebottom.
* Two Warwickshire matches have been rescheduled following draws for the knock-out competitions. The totesport League match against Leicestershire (originally scheduled for Sunday July 31) will be played on Monday August 22, with a 1pm start, while the game against Yorkshire (scheduled for Sunday August 21), will be played on Tuesday September 20 (noon).