The new Yorkshire signing is effectively having to learn on the job the multiple skills needed to be a Test match bowler having played only 49 first-class games.
Director of cricket Moxon believes it would be unrealistic to expect too much too soon from the 23-year-old off-spinner, who is set to make his 13th Test appearance in the opening match of the four-match series against India in Chennai tomorrow.
“I think we have to understand that Bessy’s still learning his trade, he’s still a young spinner and that every Test match he plays he’ll get better,” said Moxon.
“I’ve got every confidence in that because he’s the type of character with a thirst to do well, a thirst for knowledge and someone who works extremely hard at his game, so he’ll be learning every Test match he takes part in.
“Basically, he’s learning his trade at the very highest level, which is a huge challenge, particularly for a young spinner, and I think he’s doing fine, I really do.
“I didn’t see every over that he bowled in Sri Lanka (on the recent tour), but the pleasing thing was that in the second innings of the final Test, when England needed him and (fellow spinner) Jack Leach to take wickets, he did that, and I think he bowled very well overall.
“In the first innings of that match he controlled his run-rate well (Bess returned 0-76 from 26 overs – an economy rate of 2.92 per over), and although his five-wicket haul in the first Test didn’t feature a lot of what you’d call classic dismissals, he still got the wickets and his fair share of wickets throughout the series, and ultimately that’s all you can do.
“We just need to give him time now, time to develop. The art of spin takes a long time; the general principle is that the spinner is at his best around 27, 28 years old. He’s got a few years still to get to that age.”
Yorkshire signed Bess on a four-year contract from Somerset last summer after the Exeter-born player impressed in two loan spells at the club in 2019.
A key factor in the decision to sign Bess was his batting ability in the lower order, where he balances the line-up in what might otherwise be a longer tail than Yorkshire would like.
Bess played a useful cameo in the second Test in Sri Lanka, scoring 32 in the second innings at Galle and helping his captain, Joe Root, add 81 for the seventh-wicket as England won the two-match series 2-0.
Moxon sees similarities between the pair in terms of their attitude and work ethic – high praise indeed for the burgeoning Bess.
“I’ve every confidence that Bessy is going to be a top, top cricketer because he’s got a lot of characteristics that Rooty has,” said Moxon.
“The work ethic and honesty about his own game, the areas that he can get better at and improve… it’s that honesty of self-appraisal, if you like, that also sets someone like Rooty apart.
“Bessy is a three-dimensional cricketer, just as Rooty is, and when it mattered in that second Test in the second innings with the bat, he came to the fore, which is a great sign,” added Moxon.
“Now it’s all about Bessy continuing to learn his trade, the pace he needs to bowl on different surfaces and controlling his lines and lengths, which only comes from experience and takes time to achieve; it’s not the sort of thing that happens overnight.”
Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click HERE to subscribe.