Yorkshire CCC: There’s nothing like a Roses clash at Headingley – Gale

Aaron Finch.
Aaron Finch.
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Skipper Andrew Gale give his verdict from the Yorkshire dressing room

IT’S terrific that there are two first-class Roses games back on the agenda this summer and the start of tomorrow’s game at Headingley is something we are really looking forward to.

It’s always a great battle and there’s added spice to it. We are in terrific form in the County Championship and they are probably not playing as well as they would like. But on paper, they are a very good team.

We are excited about it. We have played good cricket at Headingley so far and made it a bit of a fortress. We have played twice this year and won both games and hopefully we can continue in that vein of form.

We have found a formula that works for us with the pitch, leaving a bit of extra grass on it, which has added some pace in the pitch.

It’s hard work getting in as a batsman on it. But if you do, you can score heavily and guys have shown that. With the ball, if you put it in good areas, you will get rewards.

Personally, I have done really well against Lancashire and made a couple of hundreds. There’s always an edge; there was a spicy game a few years ago at Liverpool and you can’t beat playing in a Roses match.

In terms of the side, we’ll see. Regarding Tim Bresnan, he wants to be playing as much cricket as he can and doesn’t want to be carrying drinks around for England, so we’ll see what happens there.

We said at the start of the year, it will be a squad effort if we are to win the Championship as we will miss guys with England. Whoever comes in has to take the opportunity.

In terms of the Twenty20 Blast, I thought we actually played well, even though we lost against Northants Steelers.

We struggled with the bat at the top and it wasn’t ideal that one of the top five didn’t get a score.

But we do have a long tail and the lads coming in down the order can all play.

We just need to be a little bit smarter up front and make sure one of us gets a decent score.

Obviously, Aaron Finch hasn’t come over yet due to his IPL commitments in Hyderabad and from a Yorkshire point of view, hopefully they will get knocked out of the competition, fingers crossed, and he can be with us here as soon as possible.

That’s what we want. Unfortunately, we also lose Kane Williamson after the Lancashire game, so we want Finchy here as quick as possible really.

Given results and them getting knocked out, the ideal scenario is him being here by the middle of next week really and hopefully be ready for the Derbyshire game next Friday night.

In the build-up to the Birmingham Bears game, we played three t20 matches around the county at Abbeydale, Harrogate and York and I have got to say they were all good work-outs for the lads.

Twenty20 is a game you only get confidence in by playing it, so we prefer to play matches as opposed to practice in the nets.

It was good practice. Monday was a close game against Sheffield and there’s been some good crowds also turn out and support their local teams. Hopefully, those crowds will get a taste of what it is about and come to games at Headingley and support us.

It’s good for the club players to take us on. I’d imagine for some of them that it was the biggest game of their careers, to play against Yorkshire. Some of them did really well, fair play to them – they put up a fight.

There’s a big difference between being an amateur and a professional. As a pro, you would expect to win nine times out of ten, but they certainly put a good fight up and gave us a good game.

I wasn’t actually there at the game on Monday. But the Sheffield team scored 190 and we knocked them off in the last over, so that was a close game. At one stage, it even looked like we were going to lose, but we got over the line and it gave the lads a lot of confidence.

I’ve seen the talk about the sprinter Yohan Blake wanting to sign for Yorkshire and he’s certainly welcome for a trial if he wants to open the bowling!

If the bowling is as good as his sprinting, he will be playing against Lancashire tomorrow!

I saw it on Twitter and thought: ‘Get him over, sign him up!’..You never know, you can never have enough fast bowlers, can you.

Obviously, our thoughts at Yorkshire are with the family of Phil Sharpe following his sad passing this week.

It was sad news. We all heard stories about his slip catching and he was one of the best there’s ever been. I was lucky enough to meet Phil a couple of times and he seemed a really nice bloke and we are thinking about his family at this time.

***Our exclusive Andrew Gale column is in association with Blacks Solicitors***

Yorkshire's Alex Lees, left, and Adam Lyth.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Openers Lyth and Lees ready to open up together again for Yorkshire