A POLL on the website Cricinfo poses the question: Would Yorkshire beat England in a five-day ‘Test’ series?
The options are as follows…
Only if played at Headingley
Too close to call
At the time of writing, the answer ‘No’ was slightly favoured over ‘Yes’, with not much interest in the other two choices.
There was no indication as to how many people had voted, only a thin blue line running across the screen alongside each option.
The result of the poll and the number of votes cast is unimportant, but the question itself is extremely interesting.
For as the outstanding team in four-day county cricket, would Yorkshire indeed beat England in a five-day ‘Test’ series?
I reckon they could, but only if England allowed Yorkshire’s England players to play for Yorkshire instead of England.
You might well be.
Of course, the fact is that England have first call on players, and the reality is that Yorkshire provide more to England than any other county.
However, for the sake of argument, let us assume that James Whitaker and his fellow selectors are feeling generous and they allow Yorkshire to choose a full-strength team.
In my opinion, based on all factors, discounting overseas players and after much head-scratching, that would be: Adam Lyth, Alex Lees, Joe Root, Andrew Gale, Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Steve Patterson, Ryan Sidebottom and Jack Brooks.
Granted, it is tough luck on Jack Leaning and, particularly, Tim Bresnan, either of whom could be brought in to strengthen the batting and, in Bresnan’s case, the bowling too.
Indeed, on this season’s form, there is no doubt that Bresnan deserves to be in a first-choice Yorkshire team ahead of Lees, but that would disrupt the balance of my batting line-up and force me to open with Root.
Such is the strength and variety of the bowling, I can effectively play an extra batsman, and I have chosen to go with captain Gale ahead of Leaning, who, had I undertaken this exercise earlier in the summer, would probably have been included instead.
Suddenly, I can understand how first-team coach Jason Gillespie must feel amid sleepless nights picking his side, and I am just grateful that David Willey has not officially joined the club yet.
So, that’s my Yorkshire XI.
What about the England team?
Shorn of its Yorkshire talent, I am going for: Alastair Cook, Michael Carberry, Nick Compton, Ian Bell, James Taylor, Ben Stokes, Chris Read, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn and James Anderson.
As you can see, there is no place for Jos Buttler, for I believe that Read is a better option with gloves/bat.
I could have promoted Moeen to open alongside Cook, but I have decided to stick with him in the role he played in the Ashes.
So, those are my sides, and please send all letters of protest to somebody else.
When you think of it, though, what a cracking contest Yorkshire v England really would be.
Perhaps the International Cricket Council should elevate Yorkshire to Test status, so we could all see this series unfold.
All that remains now is to predict the result.
As one who never sits on the fence, I am going to go for a 2-2 draw after four Tests ... followed by a tie.