Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale give his view from the dressing room
WE have a fantastic recent record against Warwickshire in the County Championship and to beat them three out of the last four times by an innings means we have probably become a bit of a bogey team for them.
It was great to go there and win in the fashion we did this week. It was also nice to have that extra day off as well!
The biggest thing for me was that we were really ruthless. We spoke a few weeks ago saying we were playing to 70 or 80 per cent of our potential and over the last few weeks, we have shown a real ruthless streak.
Even at Arundel with the bat, I thought we were ruthless too and against Warwickshire, we put our foot down on their throat and it was good to see.
It was hard not to think about possibly getting an extra day off. But the thing we spoke about on Tuesday morning was doing the processes well, bowling maidens, building pressure and creating opportunities.
We knew Warwickshire had a few big shot players and that if we set out to go at two or two-and-a-half per over that we would create ten opportunities and that’s what the lads did.
People chipped in and I think the most encouraging thing over the past month is that players who have come into the side have performed well.
We said at the start of the season we would lose people to international call-ups and would probably be stretched at times.
But people have come into the squad such as Jack Leaning and Rich Pyrah, even Karl Carver this week and not only have they performed, but also put in some match-winning contributions. Jack obviously hit 99 last week and Rich got a three-for and 60-odd this week which shows the depth in our squad.
We also pride ourselves on our academy and to see these lads coming through and performing as they did has been brilliant.
Carver made his debut this week and I think he’s only 18. He was as quiet as a mouse in and around the dressing room, but also quite confident in a way.
He is still pretty raw and has a bit to learn. But I thought his control with the ball was excellent and he didn’t look out of place at all.
The reason we played him was because we knew exactly what we were going to get from him. He didn’t go around the park and showed he is going to be a good performer for Yorkshire for years to come.
Aaron Finch hit a good century and I was pleased for him. He knows his Twenty20 game inside out, but wants to perform well in red-ball cricket and his knock this week was ideal for him. He came in at a time when the game was in the balance at 150-4 and took the game away from them in an aggressive manner. That’s why we signed him – to take the game away from opponents in a session.
We are top of the table, but there’s a lot of cricket still to be played and we aren’t getting ahead of ourselves. Yes, we are playing some good cricket, but know how fast it can change in this division.
Onto England and their two-Test series with Sri Lanka had another really dramatic finish and for the series to go down to the last two balls at Headingley showed just why people watch and love Test cricket over a large period of time.
England will be kicking themselves they didn’t hang on for a draw. Given the position they were in earlier in the Test, they probably should have won.
I have got to say I think the Headingley wicket is becoming a really good one in Championship and Test cricket.
There’s enough for the bowlers and if you put the ball in good areas and pitch it up, you will get your rewards. But if you play straight and work hard, you will get runs as well.
Obviously, a lot in the media has been said about Alistair Cook and as a captain, I have been there myself – at the start of last season when you are not scoring runs and want to lead from the front. Particularly when the team is not going well as well.
Alistair is under a lot of scrutiny at the minute. But his record speaks for itself and he’s a fantastic player.
I’d like to see him go out and be aggressive and play some shots. Do that and you can be on 20 or 30 not out before you know it.
At the minute, it looks like he is trying to grind it out and is being a bit half-hearted.
When things are going against you, the pull shot he played in the second innings, gets dragged on. When you are in the form of your life, you inside-edge it for four.
That’s the fine margins of professional sport. Cook’s under scrutiny, but he’s a good player and will come good.
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