WE LIVE in an era of cricketing specialists.
There are white-ball specialists such as Alex Hales, red-ball specialists such as Alastair Cook, and T20 specialists such as Tymal Mills.
Why, the day may soon come when we have specialist players for the 100-ball competition, the preposterous brainchild of the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Hopefully, there will be specialist cricket writers for that too, so that yours truly will not have to sit through the witless shenanigans.
On a serious note, one man keen to shake off any specialist tag is Tom Kohler-Cadmore, the Yorkshire batsman who made his reputation in the white-ball game.
In 2016, “TKC” scored the fastest hundred of the English season – a 43-ball effort for Worcestershire in a T20 match against Durham at New Road.
And, after moving to Yorkshire in the middle of last year, he marked his one-day debut for the White Rose this season with a blistering 164 against Durham at Chester-le-Street – the fourth-highest one-day innings in the club’s history.
When Kohler-Cadmore – tall, powerful, and with a wonderful eye – hits a cricket ball, it tends to stay hit, as the saying goes, but the 24-year-old is no one-trick pony.
On the contrary, as he has shown in recent weeks, Kohler-Cadmore is a man for all formats. His last five County Championship innings – starting with the most recent – have been 63, 105 not out, 106, 0 and 81.
The hundreds, which came in the last two games, firstly against Notts at Trent Bridge and then against Lancashire at Headingley, have been as notable for their patience as for their power.
He’s definitely got the ability to play international cricket. The talent is there, the natural ability is there, and what we’re seeing at the moment is someone showing exactly the right mentality for red-ball cricket.Martyn Moxon on Tom Kohler-Cadmore
Against Notts, after Yorkshire fell to 137-3 in reply to a first innings total of 448, Kohler-Cadmore batted for five hours to help ensure that Yorkshire not only got up to their opponents’ total, but actually went past it, with Gary Ballance (104) and Tim Bresnan (80) also making key contributions.
Then, against Lancashire, as wickets tumbled around him, Kohler-Cadmore’s hundred held together a paltry first innings score of 209 and ultimately helped his side win the match.
He followed that up with a half-century in the second innings and a key stand with Ballance as Yorkshire achieved a victory that sent them into today’s penultimate game of the season against Hampshire needing a maximum of 18 points to stay up.
In so doing, Kohler-Cadmore displayed exactly the sort of attributes that Yorkshire are seeking – in particular, an ability to occupy the crease. He has certainly impressed Martyn Moxon, the club’s director of cricket, who believes that Kohler-Cadmore is yet another Yorkshire player who can represent England.
“He’s definitely got the ability to play international cricket,” said Moxon. “The talent is there, the natural ability is there, and what we’re seeing at the moment is someone showing exactly the right mentality for red-ball cricket.
“We’ve talked about mentality many times before in terms of our batsmen, having that desire to make three-figure scores. Tom is putting a real value on his wicket and showing a desire to go out and be willing to work through the difficult periods and see them off, and, if he continues to do that, he’s got a chance of playing international cricket in all formats.”
Kohler-Cadmore’s recent displays have been a template for the club’s young batsmen. Harry Brook, a teenager of enormous potential, is another viewed as future England material as he strives for consistency to go with the class, which will surely come with more exposure and experience.
As a former international batsman himself, Moxon knows that the right mentality is key to success. Most players these days can play eye-catching strokes, raised, as they are, in the T20 generation, but the most adaptable also put a price on their wicket.
“Tom’s got the red-ball game too and he’s shown lately his willingness to bat time,” said Moxon.
“Against Lancashire, for example, if he hadn’t had that mentality and instead said to himself, ‘I’ve got to 30 now, so I’m going to play my shots’, he’d have got himself out and undone all the hard work.
“Against Lancashire, you had to be very watchful on that pitch and respect each and every ball, and he did that.
“He showed exactly the mentality that we’re looking for and which, as a side, we’ve lacked for a couple of years now, to be perfectly honest.”