A strong fourth in Division 2 last season but how will the departures of Jon Lewis, last season's leading wicket taker and Chris Taylor, the leading run scorer, over the winter affect their chances in 2012?
Even putting to one side the contribution of Lewis, Will Gidman, David Payne and Ian Saxelby all took over 40 wickets in the Championship last season. Indeed, Gidman did the double of 50 wickets and 1,000 runs. Kane Williamson is back for a second season as overseas player. The batting looks thinner and will rely heavily on Gidman's brother Alex the captain, Hamish Marshall and Dan Housego who returns to the county from Middlesex where he was the leading run scorer in the 2nd XI Championship last season.
Losing Lewis is a real blow as he has been the mainstay of the attack for several seasons. Payne and Saxelby have plenty of promise but at 21 and 22 respectively is it asking too much for them to make the step up to leading the attack? The loss of Taylor could prove even more devastating as the batting looks decidedly shaky.
Can Will Gidman have as productive a season as last? Probably not, but even 10 wickets and 200 runs less would still be an outstanding return.
Look out for
Whether Payne and/or Saxelby can step up in the absence of Lewis.
8th - Losing your best bowler is clumsy, but also releasing your top batsman is downright foolish.
2011 County Cricket Review: including Heroes of the Season, Best and Worst XIs, and a whole host of other nonsense
County Championship 2011 Preview - Gloucestershire
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