Warwickshire begin the defence of their Championship title at Edgbaston today, but their preparation has been anything but smooth.

They surrendered their 18-month unbeaten record in first-class cricket on Monday and have been further hampered by injuries to key players.

Dewald Pretorius is definitely out of today's game, while wicketkeeper Tony Frost is also a major doubt.

Captain Nick Knight is not overly concerned with the loss to the MCC, however, pointing out that the circumstances of the defeat were quite unique.

"We don't like to lose, but it would be wrong to read too much into that result," he said. "I wouldn't normally have declared in that situation, but I wanted to put us under a bit of pressure. I know we would have fancied chasing that target on such a good pitch, but we'll have sharpened up for the experience. I wasn't at all interested in just protecting our unbeaten record.

"The bowlers all got some overs under their belt and, even though there was nothing in the pitch for any of them, it will have done them good."

The injury situation bothers Knight far more. " Dewald's absence is a big loss," Knight conceded. "He was looking really sharp and he gives us a cutting edge. We'll miss his bounce and pace and I just hope he's not out for long."

Neil Carter comes in for Pretorius while Keith Piper stands by for Frost. Piper's ability as a keeper is beyond doubt, but Frost, who stroked an attractive 91 at Lord's, adds a pleasing solidity to the lower-order batting. He is not expected to be sidelined for too long, however, and could still play if he passes a fitness test this morning. Mark Wagh has fully recovered from his sore knee.

There is also better news of Naqaash Tahir. Although he's not yet ready to bowl again, Naqaash was able to spend a considerable time on the pitch as a substitute fielder during the MCC game, and will be able to play for the seconds as a batsman.

The club retain the option to sign another overseas player should they want to, but Knight believes such a move would amount to an admission of defeat.

"I hope we don't need to rethink our policy of having just one overseas player," Knight said. "It will say something about how things are going - particularly our injury situation - if we do. We're still thinking about getting someone to fill in for Heath Streak when he goes in August, but we still don't have any plans for a second overseas player."

Shaun Pollock remains the most likely candidate to stand-in for Streak.

Knight also admits that his captaincy ability will be under pressure this year. "I'm still a novice in captaincy terms," Knight said. "A complete novice. Just because we won the Championship last year doesn't mean I know it all.

"I'll be back in the slips this year, but if I find there's just too much going through my head again, I'll have to rethink that." Ashley Giles' availability today is a real bonus. He played just once last year and, at this level, can be considered a genuine all-rounder. While he may not find much encouragement in the pitch for his bowling, he is likely to afford his skipper some control in the field.

Giles' inclusion, however, is not such great news for Alex Loudon. With Wagh a capable off-spin foil to Giles, Loudon is likely to be the man from the Lord's XI to make way. On a pitch offering him no help at all, he experienced a chastening debut with the ball and looked nervous with the bat.

Warwickshire's opponents today are newly promoted Glamorgan. They are without Michael Kasprowicz, who has been withdrawn by Cricket Australia, but do include England's Simon Jones as part of an impressive fast bowling unit.

England aspirants David Harrison, Alex Wharf and Darren Thomas complete the attack, while Robert Croft will provide the off-spin option.

Left-arm spinner Dean Cosker is included in the 12, but is likely to be the man to miss out after a look at the pitch this morning.

The batting order, containing Australian Matthew Elliott, Matt Maynard, Michael Powell and former Warwickshire batsman David Hemp, is also formidable and this game constitutes a tough start to Warwickshire's title defence.

It is worth remembering that Yorkshire suffered relegation in 2002, the year they were defending the title. Although Warwickshire's strong batting line-up will continue to render them hard to beat, their bowling remains a worry and it will take a remarkable team effort if they are to retain their title. The challenge starts now.

WARWICKSHIRE (from): N Knight (capt), M Wagh, I Bell, J Trott, M Powell, A Loudon, D Brown, A Giles, T Frost or K Piper (wkt), H Streak, N Carter, N Warren. GLAMORGAN (from): M Elliott, I Thomas, D Hemp, M Maynard, M Powell, M Wallace (wkt), R Croft (capt), S Thomas, A Wharf, D Harrison, S Jones, D Cosker.