Captain Andrew Gale gives his verdict from the Yorkshire dressing room
IT’S been a good week for the lads, being able to have a few days off, but now we are itching to get back to the action and that takes us to one of our favourite grounds today when we take on Middlesex at Scarborough in the County Championship.
June and July have been pretty hectic so I think it was vital for the lads to get three or four days off and get away from the cricket in order the recharge the batteries, mentally and physically – and to maybe even just get away from each other.
But I’m sure they are all refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.
I know, like me, they will have been keeping an eye on what has been going on in the County Championship this week and we all know there are some big games coming up.
The results earlier in the week, with both Nottinghamshire and Somerset winning, just show yet again how tough it is going to be for us to win that Championship title. But it’s the same every year, you’ve got to play really well – and consistently well – to win this division and it’s certainly no different this year.
It’s often been tight in the County Championship in recent years, but I’ve probably not known as many teams still being in with a shout going into the last four or five games of the season.
Usually there are maybe just two or three teams in the mix, but there are possibly five teams who could still go on and win the title this season from this point, so it’s perhaps going to be tougher than ever.
But, as I’ve said before, we were better for the experience of going close last year and the lads have got the bit between their teeth. We’re still playing some really good cricket and if we look after the process everything else will look after itself.
I think one thing we did last year that might have upset our rhythm a little bit was that we were putting too much pressure on ourselves, thinking that every game was a ‘cup final’. What we learnt about that experience was that it is all about the ‘process’ – taking it one session at a time, hour by hour and ticking the boxes as we go along.
If we continue to do that then the wins and everything else will look after themselves. If we don’t do that, then we won’t be in a position to win the league.
As I mentioned earlier, we host Middlesex today at Scarborough. They are the only team to beat us in the Championship this season.
I didn’t play that game and I know the lads were bitterly disappointed.
They probably didn’t perform as well as they would have liked on the first day, but they dominated large parts of that match and when you set a team 470-odd to win like we did you shouldn’t really end up on the losing side.
But the encouraging thing was that the defeat didn’t scar us. After a result like that, a lot of teams’ bowling units would have hurt for a period of time, but the lads bounced back from it straightaway and we quickly moved on.
Finally, it’s great to be going back to Scarborough.
The lads love going there, a lot of them take their families so there is a real family atmosphere around the team. The crowds are always really good and the wicket is usually a good cricket wicket in that if you put the ball in good areas you get your rewards and if you dig in and bide your time when batting, you always get good value for your shots as well.
We’ve got a great record playing there over the years so we’re really looking forward to this next few days.
Pro Coach Yorkshire Cricket, the official coaching provider to Yorkshire County Cricket Club, starts its summer cricket programme for youngsters next week on July 23.
The three-day T20 Blast Holiday Camps will cover essential elements of the modern game and highlights this week include an opportunity to train on the Headingley pitch where Andrew Gale and Yorkshire Vikings play.
In addition, next week sees courses taking place at Heworth in York, Parkhead in Sheffield and Saxton in North Yorkshire.
For further information on any of our courses this summer please visit: www.procricketcoachingacademy.com or call 0113 203 3609.
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