The player Murray Goodwin thinks is Sussex's most accomplished batsman gets his chance against Surrey tomorrow.

Andrew Hodd played just two matches in the Championship-winning season after re-joining the club from this week's opponents in 2005.

But with Matt Prior making his Test debut at Lord's on Thursday, the 23-yearold has a chance to impress.

And Hodd is likely to enjoy a lengthy run in the side if, as seems certain, Prior gets the opportunity under Peter Moores to establish his credentials throughout the four-match series against West Indies.

Coach Mark Robinson insists that, like Prior, he would have no problem about playing Hodd as a specialist batsman if the need arose.

He said: "If you speak to Murray Goodwin, he will tell you that he thinks Hoddy is the most technically gifted batsman on our staff which is some praise coming from a player as good as Murray.

"If he was playing well and hitting well I'd have no qualms about playing him. It's a dog-eat-dog world in our squad but we have 100 per cent faith in Hoddy as a batsman.

"He's now got his chance. Whether he comes through is a different issue. He has the ability and technique but the only way you will find out if he has the strength of character is to give him an opportunity and this is Hoddy's chance."

With their next two games against the sides currently below them in the Championship, Sussex have the ideal opportunity to get their season up and running.

A fortnight's break from Championship action has allowed most of their injured players to get fully fit, although the squad will not be finalised until after training today.

And Robinson insists there will be no repeat of the instances earlier in the season when key performers such as Rana Naved and Jason Lewry played even though they were not fully fit.

He said: "We don't want anyone to play unless they are 100 per cent fit and we are sure they will get through a four-day match. If we're not sure they won't play - simple as that unless we have no choice because we've only got 11 fit players.

"We would rather play a lesser team than risk someone who is not fit, especially if they are as important as spearhead bowlers like Rana and Lewry.

"We played Rana in two games when he is 85 per cent fit and Jason wasn't properly fit for the Kent game and got injured again in the third over he bowled."

Both are likely to play and with Luke Wright also available after a fortnight out with a rib problem, Robinson and skipper Chris Adams have some interesting selection problems.

Mushtaq Ahmed has returned fit and refreshed after a week with his family in Lahore and now only Mike Yardy is still out. The left-hander is hitting tennis balls this week and could be available for the trip to Worcestershire next Thursday.

In the same way as Warwickshire and Kent tailor-made their pitches to negate the Sussex attack, so Robinson is keen to make use of Hove advantage against a Surrey side who have lost three times in four starts since winning promotion back to Division One.

He said: "We have asked for a dry, flat wicket on a dry square.

We have to play on whatever we are given but in the same way that other teams have played us on ropey pitches and used that to their advantage so we want to do the same here.

"In the last two away games we let the opposition get 415 and 390 on a 280-wicket and when you're batting that looks a long way away when your 90-4. It doesn't help if your bowling attack isn't 100 per cent which is why we won't take risks on key performers.

"We have got knocked off track by injuries and other distractions in the first month of the season and we can't get complacent and pretend that it might not happen again - that's what we have to steal ourselves for.

"We haven't got a God-given right to win games. What we do have is a right to do is work hard and compete and that's what I and Chris will demand in every game."