Nottinghamshire v Yorkshire - Youngsters can benefit from Dawid Malan’s arrival, says Andrew Gale
It was exactly nine months since the announcement of his move from Middlesex last November to the completion of his match-winning 73 in Yorkshire’s opening game in the Bob Willis Trophy at Durham on Tuesday.
If Malan felt nerves on his maiden appearance, and it is safe to assume there were one or two butterflies, he did not outwardly show them, using all his skill and experience to help his side to a six-wicket victory.
“That’s the reason why we signed him,” said Andrew Gale, the Yorkshire first-team coach who today takes his players to face Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge as they seek to make it two wins out of two in the northern section.
“He showed all his quality and closed the game out for us.
“We had a bit of a wobble at 4-2 chasing (171), but we’ve talked about having a one-ball mentality, taking the scoreboard out of the equation, and I thought Dawid did that really well.
“He slowed the game down and played at his own pace, and you felt relaxed just watching him.”
It was not only Malan’s runs in a potentially tricky chase that delighted Gale, but also the effect that he had on batsman Harry Brook.
The 21-year-old is a tremendous prospect but is making his way in the professional game, and Gale felt that Malan’s coolness rubbed off on the youngster, who saw Yorkshire over the line with an unbeaten 66, the pair sharing 98 for the fourth-wicket.
“I think Dawid’s performance rubbed off on Brooky,” said Gale. “Brooky also looked in control, which is a brilliant sign.
“It was a massive partnership in the context of the game, and they batted superbly.
“In addition to scoring runs, Dawid will have a positive effect on our younger players,” said Gale.
If Yorkshire are to emerge from a period of transition into a trophy-winning era, which is their stated aim from this season, it is essential that men such as Brook develop and thrive.
Matthew Fisher, who sits out the Nottinghamshire match with an abdominal niggle, was another youngster who thrived in Durham, his four-wicket burst with the second new-ball in the hosts’ second innings completely changing the course of the match.
“The young guys who have shown potential for a few years are starting to put some performances in,” said Gale.
“We’ve all seen what Harry Brook can do in glimpses, and Matthew Fisher too.
“The challenge for our young players is to back it up on a consistent basis.
“If they do, and allied to the experience that we’ve got around them, I’m certainly positive that we can challenge at the top end of the table and challenge for trophies.”
It would already be a brave man who looked beyond Yorkshire as winners of the Bob Willis Trophy northern section – even after just one round of games.
Not only did they get their own campaign off to a successful start, but there was a surprise defeat for Lancashire (the only other First Division club in the group) against Leicestershire.
Nottinghamshire lost their opening Trophy game at home to Derbyshire, who chased a club record 365 to win by three wickets.
It is now over two years since Nottinghamshire won a first-class match, and they were relegated from Division One of the Championship last season after losing 10 of their 14 fixtures.
They will have a job against a Yorkshire side who welcome back England’s Jonny Bairstow, who is available for the next two games before returning to international white-ball duty.
David Willey is also back from England duty, but the all-rounder is not yet deemed ready for the demands of red-ball cricket and will concentrate on building up his workload in the coming days.
In addition to Fisher, fellow pace bowler Ben Coad is out with a side strain, while all-rounder Matthew Waite has a back problem.
South African pace bowlers Duanne Olivier and Mat Pillans are in the 13-man squad, which features two other pace bowlers in 23-year-old Jared Warner and 19-year-old Dominic Leech, neither of whom have played first-class cricket for Yorkshire.
Gale’s men go into the contest as clear favourites but he is disinclined to take Nottinghamshire for granted.
“They’re a strong outfit on paper,” he said. “We said that about them last year.
“We go into the game with confidence and will try to play our best cricket and see where it takes us.
“We’ve certainly made a pleasing start.”
Yorkshire all-rounder Ed Barnes has joined Derbyshire on loan for the rest of the season.
The 22-year-old will be ineligible to play against Yorkshire in the Bob Willis Trophy, with the sides meeting at Headingley from August 15.
Martyn Moxon, the Yorkshire director of cricket, said: “We believe that this is a good opportunity for Ed to get some first-team experience under his belt.”
Yorkshire have the option to recall Barnes if needed.
Yorkshire squad v Notts: Bairstow, Brook, Kohler-Cadmore, Leech, Lyth, Malan, Olivier, Patterson (captain), Pillans, Shutt, Tattersall, Thompson, Warner.
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