Andrew Gale: Adam Lyth’s explosive batting gives us that X factor we’ve been missing

Adam Lyth.

Adam Lyth.

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ADAM LYTH had a couple of special knocks for Yorkshire this week and he looked like he played out of his skin.

To hit as many sixes as he did; I actually didn’t think he had that in his locker. We have always known he is a talented player, but we really needed someone to step up in that top order and make those big contributions if we are going to win one-day games as that explosiveness has probably been missing over the past few years.

Now Lythy has done it and hopefully he can continue that form into the County Championship for the rest of the season as well.

Some will be talking about Lythy for England again and there’s no doubt about his talent and ability. It was there for all to see when he played Test cricket.

But I think at the minute that Lythy will just want to concentrate on what he is doing for Yorkshire without thinking too far ahead.

He is just coming into some form and there’s quite a few players in the same situation such as (Sam) Robson who will also be trying to kick the door down and get a place back in international cricket.

But I think if Lythy starts thinking about that, it will start to affect the cricket. He will just need to continue on the task in hand.

Still on England matters and I am pleased for Jonny Bairstow that he has got his place back in England’s one-day team.

I know he is passionate about that format of the game and works hard on it. He is as destructive as anyone on his day.

As for the Test series with Sri Lanka, I thought it panned out how England would have expected. Sri Lanka played well in patches, but at that time of the year playing up north on the pitches here, the conditions were so alien to them that if England played anything like they can, they would beat them.

Jonny got man of the series, although some have spoken about his wicket-keeping. I know he is working hard on that and for me, he’s come through a lot in a short space of time.

When he came onto the Test scene, people spoke about him having a problem with the short ball and he overcame that.

Then he was in and out of the team and he’s overcome that and now he’s cemented his place in the team.

This is just another hurdle for Jonny. But he’s mentally tough to get over it and I am sure he will. He is working hard and he will get it right.

Meanwhile, Azeem Rafiq has rejoined Yorkshire. After things didn’t go quite as well as he wanted during his first spell here, he has now sorted himself out after a really bright start in his career.

I am pleased for him and he is a lad who I have got a lot of time for.

He’s the sort of cricketer that Yorkshire need – he is ‘in your face’ and a whole-hearted cricketer and I have always liked what he is about.

He seems to be getting back to his best now and has matured and is a lot more stable in his personal life.

He’s got married and a good woman changes us all, I guess! That has all overlapped into his cricket as well and he’s appreciative of where he’s at in his career.

We have also recalled Josh Shaw. Obviously we haven’t seen a lot of him this year with him being at Gloucester, but the club have been constantly in touch with him and Richard Dawson and asking how he has been going.

He probably thought he wouldn’t play for Yorkshire this season, given the seamers we have got.

But with call-ups and injuries, he has got his opportunity and I am excited about that for him.

As for me, I played a three-day game for the second team at York this week and got a 30-odd in the second innings and it was nice to spend a bit of time in the middle in preparation for next week at Durham.

I am now back to full fitness after the injection in my wrist, which put me out of action for ten days.

With not being involved in the Twenty20’s, it was the ideal time to get it down rather than missing County Championship cricket down the line.

The issue happened in the middle of last season and I have now had three injections and will ultimately probably need an operation at the end of the season. For now, it’s a case of managing it in the meantime.

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