Why Yorkshire CCC’s Dom Bess is being tipped to develop into class Test act for England

YORKSHIRE’s Martyn Moxon is urging England’s supporters to be patient with Dom Bess as the spinner tries to learn his trade at the highest level.

Thursday, 4th February 2021, 6:45 am
Yorkshire's Dom Bess, in action during one of his two loan spells at Headingley in 2019. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

The new Yorkshire signing is effectively having to learn on the job the multiple skills needed to be a Test match bowler having played only 49 first-class games.

Yorkshire signed Bess on a four-year deal from Somerset last year after the Exeter-born player impressed in two loan spells at the club in 2019.

Director of cricket Moxon believes it would be unrealistic to expect too much too soon from the 23-year-old off-spinner, who is set to make his 13th Test appearance in the opening match of the four-match series against India in Chennai tomorrow.

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“We have to understand that Bessy’s still learning his trade,” said Moxon. “He’s still a young spinner and that every Test match he plays he’ll get better.

“I’ve got every confidence in that because he’s the type of character with a thirst to do well, a thirst for knowledge and someone who works extremely hard at his game.

“Basically, he’s learning his trade at the very highest level, which is a huge challenge, especially for a young spinner.

“We just need to give him time now, time to develop. The art of spin takes a long time; the general principle is that the spinner is at his best around 27, 28 years old. He’s got a few years still to get to that age.”

GOTCHA: Dom Bess celebrates the wicket of Pakistan's Fawad Alam (not pictured) during the Third Test match at the Ageas Bowl in August last year. Picture: Mike Hewitt/NMC Pool/PA

“I didn’t see every over that he bowled in Sri Lanka (on the recent tour), but the pleasing thing was that in the second innings of the final Test, when England needed him and (fellow spinner) Jack Leach to take wickets, he did that – he bowled very well overall.”

A key factor in the decision to sign Bess was his batting ability in the lower order, where he balances the line-up in what might otherwise be a longer tail than Yorkshire would like.

Bess played a useful cameo in the second Test in Sri Lanka, scoring 32 in the second innings at Galle and helping his captain, Joe Root, add 81 for the seventh-wicket as England won the two-match series 2-0.

Moxon sees similarities between the pair in terms of their attitude and work ethic - high praise indeed for the burgeoning Bess.

HELPING HAND: Joe Root with Dom Bess during the recent second Test match against Sri Lanka in Galle. Picture courtesy of Sri Lankan Cricket (via ECB).

“I’ve every confidence that Bessy is going to be a top, top cricketer because he’s got a lot of characteristics that Rooty has,” said Moxon.

“The work ethic and honesty about his own game, the areas that he can get better at and improve… it’s that honesty of self-appraisal, if you like, that also sets someone like Rooty apart.

“Bessy is a three-dimensional cricketer, just as Rooty is, and when it mattered in that second Test in the second innings with the bat, he came to the fore, which is a great sign.

“Now it’s all about Bessy continuing to learn his trade, the pace he needs to bowl on different surfaces and controlling his lines and lengths, which only comes from experience and takes time to achieve; it’s not the sort of thing that happens overnight.”