Why Yorkshire had plenty to be proud of in Headingley Test – Chris Waters

NOW that the dust has settled on the Headingley Test, what a wonderful week for those with Yorkshire connections.

Saturday, 4th September 2021, 6:35 am

First and foremost for Joe Root, who became England’s most successful Test captain with his 27th win in his 55th match in charge.

Victory by an innings and 76 runs saw Root overtake the record of Michael Vaughan, his boyhood hero. Although Root expressed suitable delight at beating his mentor, he typically deflected praise off himself, instead crediting the “wonderful players” who had helped make it possible.

That it was a good game for Root the batsman could almost be taken as read. His innings of 121 was his third in successive Tests and his sixth of a remarkable calendar year.

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LEADING MAN: England captain Joe Root celebrates reaching 100 on day two of the Third Test match against India at Headingley Picture: Nigel French/PA

It was his second Test century on his Yorkshire home ground. His first – and the first of his Test career – had come eight years previously against New Zealand.

Then there was Ollie Robinson, who started his professional career at Yorkshire in 2013. Robinson, who was sacked by the club the following year, for what was described as “a number of unprofessional actions”, took 2-16 in the first innings and 5-65 in the second, thereby completing something of a personal redemption.

Robinson it was who took the key wickets of Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara on the fourth morning, Robinson who stepped up when the need was at its height.

That England have found a gun bowler in Robinson is self-evident; the Sussex man also looks a natural successor to Stuart Broad, who cannot go on forever and a day.

Yorkshire's Dawid Malan impressed for England against India at Headingley Picture: Nigel French/PA

Another who enjoyed a fine Headingley Test was Dawid Malan, who marked his return from a three-year exile with an innings of 70. It was a shame for Malan that he could not convert after doing all the hard yards, much of it during a fine stand with Root.

But he looks inked in at No 3 for the foreseeable future, and he has much to offer with his skill and experience. The only pity for Yorkshire is that they will clearly see less of him if he stays in the Test side, the perennial double-edged sword.

Jonny Bairstow chipped in with a useful 29, and he pulled off a stunning catch in the slips to remove KL Rahul in the second innings. Bairstow has a knack of making things happen and few will forget that brilliant grab away to his left, with the ball almost behind him when he dived one-handed to rein it in.

It was a good game, too, for Pujara, whom we can loosely call an honorary Yorkshireman after his spells with the White Rose club. Although Pujara managed only one run in the first innings, he top-scored with 91 in the second, reaching fifty from 91 deliveries – his fastest in Test cricket outside Asia.

England's Jonny Bairstow smiles after victory against India at Headingley Picture: Nigel French/PA

A word, while we’re at it, for the standing umpires Richard Kettleborough and Alex Wharf, the latter officiating in his first Test, and for television umpire Richard Illingworth.

All were born in Yorkshire, with Kettleborough and Wharf – along with England head coach Chris Silverwood, for that matter – coming up through the Yorkshire Cricket School youth training scheme, a joint initiative between Yorkshire and Leeds City Council, run by Ralph Middlebrook and David Ryder.

A wonderful Test, then, and a good week for Yorkshire, with England’s victory the cherry on top.

England's Ollie Robinson - who started his career at Yorkshire - impressed with the ball against India at Headingley Picture: Nigel French/PA