Yorkshire are in safe hands with Jonny Tattersall, believes Andrew Gale

Yorkshire's Jonny Tattersall in action with the bat. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comYorkshire's Jonny Tattersall in action with the bat. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
Yorkshire's Jonny Tattersall in action with the bat. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
YORKSHIRE coach Andrew Gale is confident that Jonny Tattersall can overcome the “mental barrier” of scoring his first century in county cricket and predicted that once he does the floodgates will open.

Tattersall has played 25 first-class matches for the club and scored 1,177 runs at an average of 33.62.

He has chipped in consistently from the middle order and has hit half-centuries in two of Yorkshire’s three fixtures in the Bob Willis Trophy.

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Tattersall’s solitary first-team hundred was an unbeaten 135 against the Leeds-Bradford students at Weetwood in April last year.

Jonny Tattersall of Yorkshire. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)Jonny Tattersall of Yorkshire. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
Jonny Tattersall of Yorkshire. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

His top-score in county cricket is 92 against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough last season – one of seven half-centuries in first-class cricket to go with five in white-ball matches that highlight his versatility.

Tattersall, 25, would dearly love more three-figure innings (and what better place to start than in the Roses game at Headingley that begins on Saturday?) and Gale is adamant he has what it takes.

“There’s a first-class batter in there, for sure,” said Gale.

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“It’s just that mental barrier for a young player, ‘Can I do it? Can I get a hundred?’

“When he gets over that mental barrier, he’ll fly.

“I’m desperate for Tatts to get that first hundred against a county.

“I know he’s got one against the Unis, but going back to when I was a young player it’s a mental barrier just to get over that you can do it.

“We’ve seen glimpses this season, and I thought he got a lot of confidence from a match-winning partnership that he had with Jordan Thompson in the first match against Notts.

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“To play a match-winning knock would have given him a lot of confidence as opposed to scoring runs in a lost cause.

“He just needs to believe he can do it (score hundreds).”

Gale said that Tattersall’s biggest critic is the player himself and that Yorkshire have been working to develop the mental side of his game.

Tattersall is highly regarded by the coaches and his fellow players who recognise him as an intelligent batsman who can attack and defend with equal facility.

“We talked a lot in the winter about the mental side of his game,” added Gale.

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“He’s not an extrovert character, but we talked about how he can carry himself a bit more positively, have more of a presence and believe he does deserve to be there.

“He’s got high standards and is a guy who is pretty harsh on himself and wants to do more.

“He wants to stand up and feel like he’s performing for the team week-in and week-out – and he can do that.”

A former England Under-19 batsman who played at the 2014 World Cup, Tattersall was released by Yorkshire the following year after making one first-team appearance in 2013.

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He had spells with the Derbyshire second XI and minor county Lincolnshire and eventually forced Yorkshire to look at him again; he has now been a first-team regular for over two years.

The catalyst was not just an improvement in Tattersall’s batting but also what he termed “a cheeky career move” during the 2017/18 close season.

He reinvented himself as a wicketkeeper to increase his chances of getting into the side; he had previously done the job only in junior cricket but made the transition so successfully that he soon became Yorkshire’s first-choice following the retirement of Andrew Hodd and in the absence of England’s Jonny Bairstow.

“Someone used the analogy, ‘You’d never put the left-back in goal for Manchester United’, but that’s almost what happened,” reflected Gale.

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“His keeping is getting better and better and Tatts has come a hell of a long way.

“When you think about the journey he’s had from being released by the club to coming back, to probably going nowhere a bit to taking up wicketkeeping – it’s a great story.

“You’re looking at a guy who has only been keeping for two years and he’s keeping consistently in first-team cricket.”

Gale admitted that he initially had reservations about Tattersall taking the gloves.

However, he quickly warmed to the concept.

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“Rich and ‘Dammsy’ had initially mentioned it to me (coaches Rich Pyrah and Richard Damms),” said Gale.

“At first I thought, ‘That’s a bit mad.’ I almost laughed it off to start with.

“Then I thought, ‘Why not? What has Tatts got to lose from it? He probably wasn’t scoring enough runs in the second team to get in as a batter alone, and it might just give him another string to his bow.

“So I had a chat with Tatts and just said, ‘Why don’t we start getting you some keeping coaching before Christmas? We’ll get (coach) Paul Shaw in, and what have we got to lose? If we invest three months in it and it doesn’t work out, we’ve lost nothing.’

“He did it and enjoyed it and soon looked the part.”

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Yorkshire have named a 13-man squad for the Lancashire game: Brook, Fraine, Hill, Kohler-Cadmore, Leech, Loten, Lyth, Olivier, Patterson (captain), Shutt, Tattersall, Thompson, Warner.

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James Mitchinson

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