YORKSHIRE first-team coach Andrew Gale has already stated his wish to see the club’s younger players make a name for themselves this season – and opening batsman Harry Brook is determined to be among those to do so.
Having made his initial breakthrough the previous summer with a handful of low-key appearances in the County Championship, it was last season that the 20-year-old really came to the fore, partnering Adam Lyth at the top of the order for the majority of the four-day campaign.
In what was a tough season for most concerned at Headingley, Brook scored 575 runs in 12 matches at an average of 25.00, the obvious highlight being a second-innings knock of 124 which helped set up a 91-run win for the White Rose at Chelmsford against Essex, despite the visitors having been skittled out for just 50 in their first innings.
Big scores proved much harder to come by for the Keighley-born batsman thereafter but Brook hopes a winter Down Under playing for the University of New South Wales club in Sydney will help put him in a better position to come closer to matching those Chelmsford heroics on a more regular basis in 2019.
“The whole point of going out there was to try and improve and get better as a cricketer and a bloke as well,” said Brook, currently out in Potchefstroom, South Africa, with the rest of the Yorkshire team on a two-week pre-season tour.
“I loved every minute of it. One of my main aims going out there was to improve my patience.
“There was one example in a game against Manly. I scored four runs in an hour, which I was happy with, so I think I’ve come back a more patient cricketer.
“Last year I was playing too many shots at stages and getting out in bad situations when the team wasn’t needing it.
“That’s another thing I tried to improve, looking at game situations and scenarios and thinking what’s best for the team.”
One team-mate who Brook will hope to be lining up alongside for the first two games of Championship season will be Joe Root.
The whole point of going out there was to try and improve and get better as a cricketer and a bloke as wellYorkshire’s Harry Brook
The England Test captain has been made available for Yorkshire to face Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on April 5 and the following week’s trip to Hampshire. Gale yesterday welcomed the news, adding: “To have Rooty back in the group will make a big difference to our dressing room, especially given the fine form that he’s in.”