TALISMANIC Essex batsman Varun Chopra recognises the void left by the absence of captain Ryan ten Doeschate from today’s Royal London Cup quarter-final against Yorkshire at Chelmsford.

Ten Doeschate misses the 50-over showdown - the first of a two-match suspension for an outburst during this week's Specsavers County Championship win at Old Trafford.

Chopra said: “It’s going to be a big loss.

"He’s our leader out there and a big-hitter as well, coming in at six.

"His scoring ability when you're in a hole, and also the acceleration he can provide at the back-end, is great for us as a side.

“He probably didn’t hit his straps in the group stages, but he's one of those guys you want in your side for a big game.

"But we’re still going to go out there with a strong side and if we play well we’ll get the result.”

The blow will be softened somewhat by the availability of Alastair Cook, for his first game in the competition this year, to open the batting with Chopra.

“Tendo will be a big loss,” said Chopra.

“But it’s not a bad replacement coming in.

"Cookie was our best player in this format last year.

"He’s been in good touch this summer and hopefully he’ll put in a big performance for us in the quarter-final.”

Cook’s return will mean a halt to the prolific first-wicket partnership between Chopra and wicketkeeper Adam Wheater, which has been worth 537 runs at 67.12 in the eight Royal London matches so far.

It has provided the platform for Essex to win five of their matches and snatch second place – and this home quarter-final – from Kent in the last match.

Chopra said: “Me and Wheater have worked well together.

"We run well and him being shorter and me taller perhaps helps.

"We complement each other at the top of the order and it’s been nice to bat with him.

“In this format, if you do set a base in the first ten to 20 overs, with the extra fielder in the circle, with two white balls, a good wicket and the sun out, you can really capitalise.

"If we’re 50 to 60 for no loss, or even if 60 for two, we feel quite comfortable.

"Wheats and my job is to get the side off to a solid start.

"We do that by playing strong cricket shots and being positive, not having a dash like some pinch-hitters have in the past.”