Yorkshire CCC: Harry Brook hailed as ‘best batsman in the country at the moment’

OTTIS GIBSON has hailed Yorkshire star Harry Brook as “easily the best batsman in the country at the moment”.

The county’s first-team coach said that no one is playing better than the 23-year-old, who has been widely tipped to make his Test debut this summer.

Brook continued his remarkable form in the County Championship game against Essex in Chelmsford, scoring 123 – his sixth successive score of 50-plus from the start of the season.

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He is the leading scorer in the First Division with 635 at an average of 158.75.

Yorkshire's Harry Brook celebrates his century against Kent. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“I think he’s playing the best in the country at the moment,” said Gibson, whose side achieved their third successive draw to remain fourth in the table, eight points behind Lancashire, who they play in their next fixture at Headingley from Thursday.

“Brooky’s scoring his runs at a run-a-ball, and although when he goes upstairs into the Test arena it might be different, he’s playing really positively and putting the bowlers under pressure. He’s made runs in every game we’ve played so far, in different conditions and at different times.

“I keep saying that we won’t see much of him (going forward) because he’s playing so well, so therefore if they (England) are picking the best team, then they’ll most likely be picking him.

“I think when you play cricket long enough – and he’s only just started his career, obviously – you sometimes get into a purple patch like that, and for us and for him I just hope that continues.”

Gibson was proud of his men as they continued their unbeaten start to the season, having had the better of things, by and large, against an Essex side for whom Sir Alastair Cook scored twin centuries in a match for the first time in his career on his 329th first-class appearance. Ultimately, though, a slow and flat pitch helped neither team.

“It feels like we’ve spent a lot of time and gone nowhere really,” said Gibson. “From the first day it was slow, and although the game came alive a little bit when Brook and Malan were batting, it went very flat again and petered out. The game never really got going, and it’s four days that I’m not going to remember much about when I Ieave here to be honest, but the boys gave it everything.”

Yorkshire hope to have fast bowler Haris Rauf for the Roses game after a side injury, but Ben Coad (hamstring) is at least two weeks away.