We're not far away, says Ottis Gibson, as Yorkshire look to end long winless run

OTTIS GIBSON believes that Yorkshire are close to ending a winless run which will become the second-longest in the club’s history if they do not prevail this week.

The county’s head coach takes his side to face Durham in Chester-le-Street aiming to avoid a 17th successive County Championship match without a victory.

Yorkshire held out for a draw against Glamorgan on Sunday despite losing seven wickets in the final session at Headingley to flirt with an eighth defeat in their last 12 Championship fixtures dating back to last June.

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That result saw them equal their second-longest winless sequence in 1989-90, with the record standing at 20 matches in 2008-09.

Yorkshire head coach Ottis Gibson. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comYorkshire head coach Ottis Gibson. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
Yorkshire head coach Ottis Gibson. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“Of course a win would be tremendous,” said Gibson, the former Durham fast bowler who still lives in Chester-le-Street. “It’s been frustrating, very frustrating so far because we could easily have been sitting here with two wins and feeling pretty good about ourselves.

“The way things have turned out, we’ve got no wins yet and so it has been frustrating. We’ve played some good cricket at times, and some indifferent cricket at times, and if we can put it all together and have four days of solid, Yorkshire-winning mindset, first-class cricket, then we’ll win.”

Yorkshire’s solitary triumph under Gibson in the Championship came in his first game in charge against Gloucestershire at Bristol in April last year. Since then, they have lost seven, drawn nine and had one abandonment.

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Yorkshire looked on course to win their opening match this season only to concede their fifth-highest run-chase as Leicestershire knocked off 389 at Headingley. Following a washout in Bristol, Yorkshire were then denied by the weather against Sussex at Hove, where they needed 63 more runs with seven wickets left in pursuit of 201 when rain washed out the last day, before the draw with Glamorgan.

Dom Bess batting against Gloucestershire at Bristol in April 2022 when Yorkshire last win a Championship game. Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images.Dom Bess batting against Gloucestershire at Bristol in April 2022 when Yorkshire last win a Championship game. Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images.
Dom Bess batting against Gloucestershire at Bristol in April 2022 when Yorkshire last win a Championship game. Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images.

“We played some good cricket against Leicester up to the last day,” said Gibson. “We went to Bristol and didn’t play any cricket, and if we had time we would have won the game at Brighton. It’s been a frustrating start to the season simply because we’ve put ourselves in winning situations but we haven’t had a win yet.

“If you are a winning machine, then you find ways to win from every situation. The reality is, and I know this, that we haven’t won for a long time, therefore winning becomes harder even when you find yourselves in winning situations.”

Gibson continued: “I say in the dressing room all the time that in order to win you have to create the opportunity first, so we’ve created opportunities to win and then, for one reason or another, whether it be weather in Brighton, or whatever, we’ve not been able to get over the line.

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“We accept that in certain situations we haven’t been as good as we should be with the ball, but we’ve created opportunities to win and that’s a good thing for us going forward because you can only win if you put yourself in a position to win.

“Against Leicester, we were in a position where we could have won - apart from two dropped catches we probably would have won that one - and apart from the rain on the last day when we never bowled a ball at Brighton we would have won. I ask the guys all the time to take comfort from that, or confidence from the fact that we are putting ourselves in winning positions.”

Yorkshire look set to field a strong side in Durham – one perhaps containing seven internationals. They will take heart from holding out against Glamorgan, although they were outplayed for much of that game before a big hundred from Adam Lyth and half-centuries from George Hill and Jordan Thompson ensured a share of the spoils.

“The Glamorgan game showed the good, the bad, the indifferent and then the bravery of the team, the real character of the team,” added Gibson. “A lot of other teams would perhaps have capitulated, but we showed a lot of character, bravery and skill.

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“Now we face Durham, and they’re a good side, but we’re not far away and we just need to be a little bit more relentless, and Chester-le-Street is our next opportunity to do that and to put all the things we’re talking about into play.

"Sometimes, after a positive draw, if you like, then it’s good that the next game comes round quickly so we can try and see if we can get some momentum going.”

Gibson went on: “I think there’s a lot more to come from us. We’re bowling well and we’re batting well, but there’s situations where had we bowled better we would probably have controlled the outcome better.

“I always say let’s get on the front foot, let’s throw the first punch, and let’s try and drive the game from there. Quite often, what we’ve done is we’ve had a poor session and we’ve let the opposition get away from us and then we’re playing catch-up.

“Once we can flip that situation, I think then you’ll see the real potential of the team.”