Yorkshire CCC: Positive start sets us up for the season – Gale

Yorkshire's Liam Plunkett.
Yorkshire's Liam Plunkett.
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Skipper Andrew Gale has his say on all things Yorkshire CCC

WHILE it would have been nice to get a win down in Taunton in our first County Championship game of the season, I thought it was a good solid week for us. Given the conditions I thought a draw against Somerset was a really good result and will give us plenty of confidence going forward.

There were plenty of positives to take from the game. Adil Rashid getting a hundred in the first game of the season was a massive plus and I thought Adam Lyth batted beautifully throughout the game. I thought all the batsman chipped in really, without making one big score.

I thought from a bowling point of view we kept them to under three an over for large periods of the game it was just disappointing that we couldn’t get the breakthroughs at times when we needed to bowl them out really.

But overall, the lads put a good shift in, a lot of effort and a lot of focus into the game.

It was a pretty flat pitch but, saying that, I missed out personally on it – I always tend to miss out on the flat wickets!

But there wasn’t much life in it and nobody really likes playing cricket like we did over the last couple of sessions of the game when it was petering out into a draw but we’ve come to expect those sort of situations down at Taunton, it’s happened a few times and there was no way that I wanted to set a game up really because we’ve been scarred too many times down there with declarations so I thought it was the best possible result we could get.

We’re obviously going to be affected by England call-ups throughout the summer, with Joe Root, Tim Bresnan, Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance all in the frame to get their chance to shine on the international stage at some point.

But there are other players in our team who have the potential to be involved with England.

Liam Plunkett, in my eyes is the quickest bowler in the country and I think he could do the Mitchell Johnson type role for England. We used him in short sharp bursts at Taunton, mainly because of the pitch.

We wanted to keep him fresh so we bowled him in three or four over spells and he bowled very aggressively on a flat wicket, he was bowling at 90mph consistently and he hit two people on the head which tells you how quick he was bowling.

I think going forward he’s got a real chance of playing international cricket again.

Adam Lyth is someone who has been talked about for a long time as someone who could play for England – he’s definitely got the technique for it, the trick with Adam is getting the consistency in his game – he’s gone through periods where he has scored heavily and he’s gone through periods where he hasn’t got any runs, so for him to play for England he’s got to score more consistently throughout the season.

Adil Rashid is another who has had a good start form us. I think if he’s going to get into the England team – obviously his batting speaks for itself at the minute, he started well down in Taunton and he averaged 60 last year with the bat – but he’s got to start taking more wickets.

He bowled okay down in Taunton but, again, he could be more consistent with the areas that he bowls and he could spin it harder but it is definitely a work in progress and if he can start to pick up some wickets as the wickets get a bit drier then he’ll definitely come into the reckoning for England.

We’re back at home tomorrow for our next County Championship match against Northampton and they will be full of confidence after just avoiding defeat the other day against Durham.

They hung on when nine down and sometimes when you hang on for a draw in that fashion you can gain a lot more confidence out of it than out of a normal draw.

So they’ll be coming to our ground full of confidence and wanting to hit us hard. They’ve just come up but we played a friendly against them a couple of weeks back so we know a bit about them.

There are no easy games in this division and we’ve got to make sure we’re on it from ball one really and make sure that as soon as we cross that white line we’ve got to be consistent for the whole game if we’re going to get the right result. Anyone can beat anyone on their day and if you’re not quite on it and you fall asleep for a session or for half a session it can really cost you in terms of your season as a whole.

ON the way back up from Taunton, I stopped off in Edgbaston to attend the media day and launch of the Natwest T20 Blast.

It doesn’t start for another two or three weeks but, it’s something that we are determined to do much better in this season.

We were bitterly disappointed with our form in Twenty20 last year, finishing bottom of our group. We knew that for a county as big as Yorkshire it was not acceptable.

The most disappointing thing about last year was because the year before we had been so successful in Twenty20 and to not build on that was frustrating.

We found a plan that worked for us in 2012 but we just didn’t execute those plans well enough last year and I think that was down to a number of things.

In particular there were too many dot balls throughout the innings, we got tied down a lot by spin and we didn’t hit enough fours and sixes and then, with the ball, we didn’t hit the hole enough at the death and those are the areas that we’ve looked at.

We’ve been working really hard during the winter to put them right and make sure that when the Twenty20 does come around we execute things a lot better under pressure.

Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

No lack of ambition in county cricket, insists Yorkshire boss Andrew Gale