JASON GILLESPIE is backing Yorkshire’s inconsistent batting line-up to deliver as the club look to book their place in the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals.
Yorkshire will qualify for the last eight if they win their final group game against Nottinghamshire at Headingley today (5.30pm start).
But first-team coach Gillespie knows they must improve on some indifferent performances with the bat to secure their passage – and is confident they can do so.
“We’ve been very inconsistent with our batting in T20, there’s no shying away from that,” said the former Australia fast bowler.
“At times we’ve been good; at other times not so good. But, at some point, all of the batsmen have made a contribution.
“I back them publicly and I back them privately, and I’m very confident they can get the job done.”
Yorkshire’s T20 batting has been like the proverbial curate’s egg.
In four of their 13 group games they have scored 180 or more, but they collapsed to 95 at home to Durham and made only 147-6 in their last match against Birmingham, losing with two balls to spare, having at one stage been 79-6.
That defeat, followed by Nottinghamshire’s win at holders Northamptonshire on Wednesday, means Yorkshire can no longer gain a money-spinning home quarter-final by finishing in the top two in the North Group.
Instead, they will face one of the top two sides in the South Group should they prevail today, while second-placed Nottinghamshire would guarantee a home quarter-final if they win in Leeds.
Yorkshire could still qualify if they lose tonight and Birmingham – the only team who can knock them out of the top four – lose at home to second-bottom Leicestershire.
But Yorkshire have no wish to rely on outside favours as they seek to avenge a 22-run defeat to Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge when, once more, their batting let them down as they mustered only 121-9 in pursuit of the hosts’ 144.
Matthew Fisher, the 16-year-old seam bowler, has been named in Yorkshire’s squad on the back of some good displays for the second team.
Fisher, who made his first-team debut last season, replaces fellow pace bowler Ollie Robinson, and Gillespie said he would have no qualms about throwing the youngster into battle in such a big game.
“‘Fish’ is in good form and deserves his call-up,” said Gillespie.
“He took five wickets last week against Worcestershire in a second XI match.
“Age is not an issue for us; our mantra is that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
“We will always promote from within and, if selected, I know that he will do a job for us.”
Yorkshire (from): Bairstow, Bresnan, Brooks, Finch, Fisher, Gale, Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Pyrah, Rafiq, Rashid, Sidebottom, Williamson.