Yorkshire Vikings v Durham: Andrew Gale remains searching for T20 answers

Yorkshire's Jack Leaning: First T20 call of the summer. Picture: SWPix
Yorkshire's Jack Leaning: First T20 call of the summer. Picture: SWPix
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ANDREW GALE has admitted that Yorkshire do not know what their best team is as they search for a winning T20 formula.

The first-team coach conceded it was an ongoing process as he called on his players to put the pride back in Yorkshire’s white-ball cricket.

Gale’s men go into tonight’s match against Durham at Emerald Headingley bottom of the North Group after one win from nine matches.

They would have to win their last five to stand a chance of reaching the quarter-finals but are still trying to work out their best XI.

“If we’re being honest, we don’t know what our best team is,” said Gale.

“We’ve tried to put 11 guys on the field that will win us the game, but we’ve just been chopping and changing to try and find the best XI and the best formula to win the game.

“Blokes have got to put their hands up and start putting in consistent performances, not just one over here and one over there.

“All we can do is go out against Durham all guns blazing and try and put some pride back into our one-day cricket.”

In handing a first T20 appearance of the season to batsman Jack Leaning and spinner Keshav Maharaj in Sunday’s defeat to Derbyshire at Headingley, it meant that Yorkshire had used more players (18) than any other side in the North Group.

Most of their rivals have relied on just 13 or 14 players – including leaders Lancashire with 13.

Yorkshire have not been helped by injuries to pace bowler Matthew Fisher and leg-spinner Josh Poysden at the start of the tournament.

However, Gale is not making excuses for Yorkshire’s white-ball cricket this season, with the club having won three of 17 games including the 50-over cup.

“We’ve been inconsistent in one-day cricket this year,” he said.

“I’m not going to hide behind the fact that we do some things well and some things not so well, or some things really bad that cost us games.

“We did it in the 50-over comp and we’ve done it in the T20. There’s no getting away from that.

“You see glimpses of encouragement and think that maybe we’re getting it now, and then we do other things which make you think that we’re far off the mark.

“We talked at the start of the T20 about the fine margins in this format, and the things that you can control, such as extras and fielding, running between the wickets, and so on, but we haven’t controlled them very well.

“We need to have a better grasp of the game and what we need to do in those key moments under pressure, which are magnified in this form of the game more than any other.”

Yorkshire’s frustration is compounded by the fact that they have shown glimpses of quality as a T20 force.

Their only win this year saw them score 255-2 against Leicestershire at Grace Road – the second-highest T20 total recorded in England behind their own 260-4 against Northamptonshire at Headingley in 2017.

That highlighted a clear strength of Yorkshire’s side in the form of opening batsmen Adam Lyth and Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who made significant contributions on both occasions and are the only men to have passed 200 runs for them in the competition this season.

Beyond that, there remains a sense of a club striving not only to pin down their best XI, but also of striving to find a method of playing the game’s shortest format.

“The lads are all working really hard and I applaud them for that,” added Gale.

“There’s absolutely no qualms from me when it comes to their work ethic.

“But we do have to work smarter and we have to play smarter, because it’s okay working smarter in training but the key is doing it under pressure when there’s a crowd in and the scoreboard dictates what you need to do.”

Gale further reflected: “I’m just disappointed that with the players and the quality that we’ve got, we get outplayed by sides that are nowhere near us from a skill point of view.

“They’ve got good players, yes, but in our dressing room we’ve got better players and we just let ourselves down by not performing.

“To get out-batted and out-bowled like we did (against Derbyshire) is well below-par for Yorkshire cricket club. We know the areas that we need to improve but we’ve got to do it.”

Yorkshire (from): Ballance, Bess, Bresnan, Fraine, Kohler-Cadmore (capt), Leaning, Lyth, Maharaj, Pillans, Shutt, Tattersall, Thompson, Waite, Willey.