Yorkshire CCC to run the rule over Jafer Chohan ahead of crunch T20 clash

YORKSHIRE will assess the fitness of Jafer Chohan on Wednesday before deciding whether the leg-spinner can play in their potentially must-win T20 match against Durham at Headingley the following evening.
Jafer Chohan celebrates taking a catch off his own bowling to dismiss Lancashire's George Lavelle at Headingley last month. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comJafer Chohan celebrates taking a catch off his own bowling to dismiss Lancashire's George Lavelle at Headingley last month. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
Jafer Chohan celebrates taking a catch off his own bowling to dismiss Lancashire's George Lavelle at Headingley last month. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Chohan has missed the last two T20s with a broken right thumb sustained while batting in the nets.

Yorkshire lost both fixtures - at home to Birmingham and away to Derbyshire - to leave them probably having to win their last four matches to reach the quarter-finals.

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They go into Thursday’s game seventh in the table - three points behind Durham in the fourth and final qualifying place, with two points awarded for a win - before travelling to Lancashire on Friday and to Worcestershire on Sunday, finishing off against Nottinghamshire at Headingley on Friday week.

Chohan appeals for a wicket against Leicestershire. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comChohan appeals for a wicket against Leicestershire. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
Chohan appeals for a wicket against Leicestershire. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Ottis Gibson, the Yorkshire head coach, said: “Jafer’s got a broken right thumb but he’s not in that much pain.

“He was keen to come and play at Chesterfield (against Derbyshire on Sunday), so we’ll assess him on Wednesday at practice and see how he is.

“He injured himself batting in the nets - he got one on the thumb - but he’s a tough cookie.

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“If he comes through bowling okay, and so on, we’ll put him back in the squad and see if we can get him into the team.”

Chohan, who turns 22 on Thursday, has been a key component of a three-pronged spin line-up that Yorkshire have adopted during the competition.

Along with Dan Moriarty, the left-arm spinner, and Dom Bess, the off-spinning all-rounder, he has done a good job with ball in hand, the trio appearing together in seven of the 10 group matches so far.

The three spinners complement each other in style and method, with their returns in the tournament strikingly similar.

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Moriarty has taken 13 wickets in 10 games at an average of 23.84, with an economy rate of 7.94; Bess has captured 10 wickets in 10 games at an average of 26.50, with an economy rate of 7.22; and Chohan has bagged seven wickets in seven games at an average of 25.57, with an economy rate of 7.72.

“We’ve always had this three spinners strategy from the start of the year, so Jafer missing disrupts us a little bit,” added Gibson.

“We need him, I think, because he’s done well for us; he’s still a young spinner and developing nicely.

“He will be in our 50-over plans, for sure, if he’s ok, and I wouldn’t even mind having a look at him in the red-ball at the back end of the season if everything goes well.

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“He might be the one that helps us get promotion, you never know, and if we go places and the wicket spins, we might put him in the team and see how he goes.”

Yorkshire head into the match against Durham seeking revenge for a three-run defeat at Chester-le-Street last month.

It was the middle loss in a sequence that has since extended to five defeats in their last six games, a run that has seen them tail away after they had started the tournament with three wins from four.

The Durham match effectively summed up where Yorkshire have been at in the T20 format - unable to win key moments consistently enough for Gibson’s liking.

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They needed 20 runs from 16 balls in that game with five wickets left chasing 171 for victory only to fall agonisingly short, with something not dissimilar happening last Friday when, in pursuit of 215 to beat Birmingham at Headingley, they lost by four runs having gone into the last two overs wanting 18 runs with six wickets left.

“We should have won the game at Durham, and on Friday night we let them (Birmingham) get too many with the bat,” said Gibson, after Yorkshire’s target was rendered more tricky by the concession of 67 runs in the last four overs of the visitors’ innings.

“We’ve had some costly overs at times and we have to try and deal better with those pressure situations.

“I tell the guys all the time that everybody who aspires to play in the IPL, or whatever, pretty much every game in the IPL goes down to the last over, so there’s pressure all the time and you have to learn to handle that.

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“If you can’t handle the pressure here, you’re not going to handle the pressure in India, in the IPL, with 50,000 people screaming at you, so you’ve got to learn to manage this pressure first and then people can think about moving on to the IPL and the other big tournaments.”

Although Yorkshire have little or no room for error, Gibson is confident his men can still qualify.

T20 is a game of momentum - both of the positive and negative variety, liable to fluctuate this way and that.

“We’re not playing terrible cricket, it’s just one or two little things we need to improve,” he said.

“Last year we went on a run of six wins, so we can do that; we’ve got that in us.”

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