TOM KOHLER-CADMORE is ready to stand up in Joe Root’s absence as Yorkshire prepare to adjust to life without the England Test captain.
Yorkshire return to County Championship action today against Kent in Canterbury with Root now expected to be away with England for the rest of the summer.
Root played a key role in the first two Championship matches of the season against Nottinghamshire and Hampshire, producing scores of 73, 130 not out and 94. But he is now on one-day international duty ahead of the World Cup, which is followed by the Ashes in August/September.
“You’re always going to miss Joe, aren’t you?” said Kohler-Cadmore, reflecting on the task that now faces Yorkshire.
“His experience, his runs that he’s got for us at the start of the year… but it’s for us batters now to kind of stand up.
“Gaz (Gary Ballance) has had two gun games as well, but for us it’s about taking responsibility and someone every game making sure that they are contributing big, and when you’re getting in, like Joe and Gary showed, that you’re not getting a cheap fifty.
“You need to put in a key contribution that puts the pressure on the opposition.”
Kohler-Cadmore, 24, loved having Root around in the dressing room.
The Kent-born player said that he tries to soak up as much information as possible from all the top stars.
“Joe’s been a big help to me,” added Kohler-Cadmore, who was born in Chatham.
I’m just trying to make sure that when I am needed, when I do go out, that I can make key contributions and win games of cricket for Yorkshire.Yorkshire’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore
“Whenever he’s here he’s always kind of helped me and always given advice, which for me is invaluable.
“Being able to just listen to the England captain talk about batting and everything like that is brilliant.
“I try and be a sponge around the really good players because anything I can take from them is great to learn from.”
Asked what he has gleaned from Root in particular, Kohler-Cadmore said: “He’s just very chilled, very consistent.
“He doesn’t get too up, too down, and I think that’s a good thing.
“It shows why he’s so good at international cricket.
“When he scores a hundred he’s not absolutely buzzing, and then when he gets a nought he’s not beating himself up too much.
“He backs his practice, backs what he does, and it normally comes off for him.
“If you have those consistent behaviours off the field, normally on the field it looks after itself.”
Consistency is very much the watchword as Yorkshire look to build on a successful start in the Championship.
They drew at Nottinghamshire and won at Hampshire before the break for the Royal London Cup.
“It’s just important to be consistent as a team,” said Kohler-Cadmore.
“Instead of going, ‘We’ve had two good games, we’re going to win the Championship’, that would just be stupid.
“We need to be able to look at each game as it goes, reflect on how we are playing honestly, and it’s about doing the process that gets you there.
“It’s a bit weird because we’ve now got eight weeks of full-on Championship cricket.
“I feel like it’s a great opportunity for us to get our teeth stuck into it.
“There’s a block so you can train for it, you can prepare for it, you can be ready to go firing.
“Hopefully we can put in a good performance down at Canterbury and keep up the momentum we started with earlier in the season.”
With Root and Ballance playing so well, Kohler-Cadmore quipped that he has not had much opportunity so far in the Championship.
His innings to date brought scores of 41 and 22, with the powerful right-hander having begun the year with a career-best 176 against Leeds-Bradford MCCU at Weetwood.
“I’ve only batted twice so far this season in the Championship,” he said. “I’ve spent most of it with my pads on watching Joe and Gary bat.
“I’m just trying to make sure that when I am needed, when I do go out, that I can make key contributions and win games of cricket for Yorkshire.
“I feel I’ve got a solid plan that I’m trying to work towards now in red-ball cricket, and it doesn’t necessarily mean every innings I go out and play to the same tempo. It depends on the surface and everything like that, but I feel that I understand my game a lot better now.”
Kohler-Cadmore was pigeon-holed as a white-ball player earlier in his career on account of his destructive hitting.
But his performances for Yorkshire towards the end of last summer, when he scored hundreds against Nottinghamshire and Lancashire, showed that he can transition to all formats.
“I want to play well in all three forms,” he said.
“Ultimately I’d love to play Test cricket because I think that’s the hardest form to play. It’s really about being able to adapt.
“Even in T20 cricket sometimes you’re playing on slower pitches where if you just try and whack the ball all the time you’re not going to be successful, so you need to be able to adapt in that form let alone to the longer form.”
Yorkshire have added Academy quick Matt Taylor to their squad for this week’s match.