On a day when England crashed to a nine-wicket defeat against Pakistan in the first Test at Lord’s, Lyth scored an unbeaten 132 for Yorkshire at Leicestershire in the One-Day Cup.
Although the 50-over format is different to Test cricket, the message came through loud and clear. This man can play and he could yet offer much at the highest level, with Mark Stoneman having failed to convince in Lyth’s previous role as Test match opener.
“I’m a long way off playing Test cricket as we speak, but, hopefully, a few more runs like that, and you never know,” said Lyth, who has not represented his country since playing seven Tests against New Zealand and Australia in 2015.
“I’ve felt in good nick all season without having quite got the big score I was looking for, so I’m over the moon to get this hundred.
“I’ve started well in recent games but not gone on and got a big score, which is why this was such a big knock for me.
“Galey (first team coach Andrew Gale) spoke to me this morning and said that 30s aren’t quite good enough, which I totally agree with, and thankfully I got the bit between my teeth on this occasion and got a hundred.” This was Lyth’s fourth hundred in one-day cricket, an innings brimming with class and composure.
The 30-year-old seems to enjoy batting at Grace Road, where he carried his bat for 248 in a County Championship match in 2012.
“It was probably my best knock in a run-chase for Yorkshire,” said Lyth, whose innings fell just short of his one-day career-best 136 against Lancashire at Old Trafford in 2016.
“Over the last few years we’ve not been the best chasing side, but I thought the way we went about our business today was second to none.”
Yorkshire will have England all-rounder David Willey back for Wednesday’s match at Derby after his Chennai Super Kings team won the Indian Premier League.
Willey did not play in the game as Chennai beat Kane Williamson’s Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets.