So it is here with Jonny Bairstow, on whom all eyes are fixed as he attempts to regain his place in the Test XI.
It is nice to be the centre of attention when all is going well; less so when things are a struggle, unfairly or otherwise.
Bairstow can consider himself extremely hard done by to be out of the England side at present, and it is only through weight of runs – and/or the loss of form and fitness to one of his rivals – that he is likely to force his way back in to the Test side.
Bairstow fell for five as Yorkshire scored 264 on the opening day against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, batting in the less familiar position of No 3 – another potential route back into the Test team for a man who would prefer to be England’s wicketkeeper/batsman.
After Yorkshire lost Adam Lyth in the game’s fourth over, lbw as he tried to turn Jake Ball to leg after the visitors won the toss in glorious sunshine, Bairstow seemed suitably determined to make an impact.
He took 18 balls to get off the mark before doing so with a lovely cover-driven four off Zak Chappell, Bairstow adding a leg-side single off the same bowler before cutting him to Samit Patel at backward point.
On a day when much of the focus was naturally on Bairstow, who will be hoping for better in the second innings, it was two young players who caught the eye from a Yorkshire perspective.
Jordan Thompson top-scored with a thumping 98 from 103 balls with 11 fours and four sixes, his highest score on his fourth first-class appearance, and Harry Brook continued his impressive start to the season with 62 from 111 balls with nine fours and a six, having hit 41 and 66 not out in the opening round win at Durham.
Without their contributions, Yorkshire would not have posted any sort of total on a used pitch that favoured the spinners.
Brooks’s innings was arguably the best and most fluent, but Thompson played some rollicking strokes, not least when clubbing two leg-side maximums off Patel and two off Ball before taking another big heave at off-spinner Chris Nash and edging to slip, last out when a century seemed there for the claiming.
Earlier, Dawid Malan nibbled at one from Chappell and was caught behind, and Tom Kohler-Cadmore caught almost directly behind the wicketkeeper by Steven Mullaney when he lobbed up a sweep off spinner Matthew Carter, which left Yorkshire 44-4. Brook and Jonny Tattersall added 92 for the fifth-wicket before Tattersall was lbw sweeping Patel’s left-arm spin.
Brook was bowled through the gate on the stroke of tea by Nash, who had Steve Patterson caught at slip to end a seventh-wicket stand of 42 with Thompson.
Patel trapped Duanne Oliver lbw and Carter pinned Jack Shutt, Patterson bowling Nash as Notts ended the day on 13-1.
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