YORKSHIRE’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon believes the best is yet to come from new signings Mat Pillans and Josh Poysden.
Pace bowler Pillans and leg-spinner Poysden joined from Surrey and Warwickshire respectively on three-year contracts back in August.
Both came in on loan until the end of the season ahead of those contracts officially starting, with Poysden having previously had a one-match loan in July.
Neither, it is fair to say, have yet fulfilled their potential in White Rose colours.
Pillans returned match figures of 0-130 on his solitary appearance in the County Championship game against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, while Poysden’s seven wickets in three Championship fixtures arrived at just under five runs an over.
Their recruitment has sparked some criticism on social media, with a section of supporters already writing off the 27-year-olds, but Moxon believes that they have great potential and will only add to the county’s firepower.
“Neither bowler is the finished article by any means,” said Moxon, who feels that Yorkshire have two fine assets on their hands.
“Josh has only played a handful of first-class matches (14), and it’s the same with Mat (41).
“As yet they haven’t had the volume of overs that you ideally need to play Championship cricket, which is particularly important for a spinner, and especially important for a leg-spinner.
“You’ve got to have the match overs in you to give you the confidence to go out and bowl, and we’ve been asking Josh, for instance, to play when he’s not been playing regular red-ball cricket.
Don’t underestimate, either, that it’s a big thing for players to come and play for Yorkshire.Martyn Moxon
“Now we’ve got a winter coming up to work on things and then both players can start the season fresh, instead of coming off the back of a T20 block where neither of them have played red-ball cricket.
“Don’t underestimate, either, that it’s a big thing for players to come and play for Yorkshire.
“It takes time for them to settle and find their feet.”
Yorkshire signed Pillans as a direct replacement for Liam Plunkett, who has moved in the opposite direction to The Oval.
Yorkshire wanted a pace man who would be regularly available, as opposed to being away with England’s white-ball team, while Plunkett also missed the first six weeks of last season – along with David Willey – as a late injury replacement for the Indian Premier League.
“Mat had limited opportunity at Surrey, but what he has got is pace,” stressed Moxon.
“That’s what we’ve brought him in for, to provide that something a little bit different.
“We’ve got our line and length bowlers, but with Mat we know we’ve got someone with genuine pace.
“It just gives us that different dimension that Liam gave us when we asked him to go out and bowl fast. That’s what he did when we won the Championship; he was our guy that had licence to go and bowl fast.
“We had Steve Patterson, Ryan Sidebottom and Tim Bresnan to keep the runs tight, so that’s what we’ve brought Mat in to do now – to provide that extra pace.
“He will also be valuable in one-day cricket when we need to take wickets in the middle of the innings.
“You bring your fast bowler on to try and break a partnership, and he will be ideal for that.”
Yorkshire signed Poysden following months of uncertainty surrounding their premier leg-spinner Adil Rashid.
The England man dramatically quit red-ball cricket in February, only to sign a new all-format contract with Yorkshire last month after England told him that he had to have a red-ball deal going forward following his controversial call-up for the India Test series. Poysden’s first appearance for Yorkshire came in the Championship Roses match at Old Trafford, where he bowled only seven overs as Yorkshire’s pace men did the damage along with Joe Root, who captured a career-best 4-5 with his off-spinners to wrap up an impressive win.
Poysden then struggled for control during his second loan spell following a lack of red-ball match practice.
“Josh is someone we wanted to bring in for both four-day and one-day cricket, and he’s someone who’s got huge potential,” added Moxon.
“I’ve spoken to (former Test spinner) Jack Birkenshaw about him, and I’ve had a couple of conversations with players at Warwickshire who said that he’s a good lad and he will do a good job for you. Josh just needs to be given time and to get those extra match overs. I’m sure that, in time, with matches behind him, he will do a good job.”