India star Cheteshwar Pujara just “loves hitting balls”.

That is why he was straight down to work as he arrived in Sussex.

The star batsman will make his debut on Thursday when the county visit Derbyshire in the Championship.

It is also expected Mohammad Rishwan will be in the side as they look to bounce back from home defeat by Nottinghamshire.

The Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman is due to arrive in England today.

But the Derby game looks too early for both Ollie Robinson and George Garton while Dan Ibrahim and Fynn Hudson-Prentice face significant lay-offs.

Jack Carson will be out for at least another month as he recovers from close-season knee surgery.

Pujara, desperate for runs to help win back his Test place, arrived in England just too late to face Notts on a great pitch at the 1st Central County Ground.

Sussex head coach Ian Salisbury said: “He is here. We are slightly gutted he couldn’t have got in the day before.

“I think he is too, actually.

“He has seen the wicket and he is going, ‘I wish I was playing’.

“He is a breath of fresh air around the place.

“You can see how much it lifted the guys just seeing him around.

“Already in the nets you can see how much he wants to help everybody around him.

“He landed on Thursday, came straight round and has been in the nets for two days, “He can’t wait to get going. He loves hitting balls.

“The two overseas will play and then we will see where we are at.”

While visa complications have been sorted, Sussex are not short of injury and illness problems.

Ibrahim damaged shoulder ligaments diving for a ball in the outfield.

His bowling and batting were both missed as Sussex tried unsuccessfully to stem the turning tide against Notts.

Salisbury said: “He is going to be out for, best case, maybe four to six weeks.”

Sussex are unsure when Garton will be available as he recovers from long Covid.

But they are not willing to take any risks with his health and there are concerns over his heart rate.

Helped by a score of exactly 100 from Tom Clark, Sussex were on top for more than four sessions against much-fancied Notts before eventually being overpowered.

Salisbury is willing to take positives from the test they initially posed Peter Moores’ side.

He said: “We didn’t win so it didn’t go according to plan, but we’ve taken the favourites for this division to the last session on the final day and that’s with a few things going against us, like Dan Ibrahim getting injured.

“We just couldn’t afford to drop a player like Steven Mullaney on as good a wicket as this on 49 and 85.

“But there were positives. Tom Clark got a hundred and I’m so pleased for him.

“He did a lot of work over the winter with (batting coach) Grant Flower and you saw a different cricketer compared to last year.

“Hopefully that is the first of many and hopefully he will have also learnt.

“He got his hundred and look at the difference with somebody with experience, who turns that 100 into a big one.

“I think next time, if he gets there he will be looking to make it bigger.”