Yorkshire CCC v Northants - Andrew Gale seeking ‘the perfect game’

COACH Andrew Gale wants the missing pieces of Yorkshire’s batting jigsaw to reveal themselves as the club goes in search of “the perfect game”.

Backed: Yorkshire's Jonathan Tattersall. Pictures: SWPix

Yorkshire head into today’s fixture against Northants at Headingley having been overly reliant on Adam Lyth.

The opener is the leading English run scorer in the County Championship with 488 runs in the first three matches.

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It has raised his hopes of a Test recall six years after his last appearance.

Consistent: Yorkshire's Harry Brook.

Joe Root who has watched Lyth lead the English charge towards 1,000 first-class runs by the end of May, has scored 151 runs in six innings – 101 of which came in one knock at Kent.

The Test captain is resting this week and will be replaced by Will Fraine, but he will return for next week’s home game with Kent and possibly for the subsequent match at Glamorgan before leaving for international duty.

Harry Brook has scored 246 runs in six innings – three of which have been half-centuries – with only a three-figure score missing from an otherwise impressive start to the season by the 22-year-old, while Gary Ballance aggregated 92 runs on his return to the side against Sussex last week, including a second innings 74 that helped Yorkshire to a second victory in three games.

Of the rest of the regular top-six, Tom Kohler-Cadmore has hit 70 runs in six innings and Jonny Tattersall 56 in five, while Tom Loten scored 57 in four before making way for Ballance last week.

Supported: Yorkshire's Tom Kohler-Cadmore.

“The first innings batting hasn’t been great in two of the three games, and we’ve got to start putting scores on the board,” said Gale, with Yorkshire having the fewest number of batting points (four) in the country along with Warwickshire.

“We’ve talked about it and we’ve got the players to put it right, we’ve just got to start doing it.

“You’re always searching for the perfect game, and the good thing is that we’re still winning even though there’s things we can improve.

“We’re certainly not playing our best cricket yet, but I don’t think we’re too far away.”

Seeking perfect game: Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale.

Lyth’s form has offset a difficult start to the season for Kohler-Cadmore, his opening partner who has proven his qualities in all forms of the game.

Gale said that the 26-year-old – who hit a fine hundred against Leeds-Bradford MCCU in pre-season – has his full support.

“I guess as a batsman you’re always judged on your right-hand column, and Tom hasn’t put a score on yet,” he said. “I think he’s looked decent without making a score, and I’m sure he’ll feel the pressure of it, but he’s got my full backing.

“Tom’s got high standards of himself; he’s a good player. He just hasn’t got a score on the board. Early-season you always want to contribute and I’m sure both him and Tatts (Tattersall) are questioning themselves and are a little bit short of confidence, but that’s the way the game goes.

“I’ve been there myself. You go four, five, six games without a score and it’s tough. You need a little bit of luck sometimes but when you get in, you’ve got to make sure that you make a big one.”

Tattersall, 26, is striving for the runs at No 6 that would complement some impressive wicketkeeping displays.

There are some good batsmen below him in the order – Dominic Bess, David Willey and Jordan Thompson have similar first-class averages around the 30-mark – and there is the feeling at Yorkshire that if Tattersall could get the monkey off his back in terms of registering a maiden Championship hundred that the floodgates could open.

“We’re just giving them (Kohler-Cadmore and Tattersall) our support,” added Gale. “You look at the ways they’re getting out; it’s more execution, really.

“Tatts’s shot in the first innings (at Sussex) was definitely execution. It was a poor shot (he was caught behind driving).

“Tom’s was poor decision-making in that second innings. Did he need to run down the wicket (stumped off the spinner Jack Carson)? Probably not, but no-one felt more distraught than Tom. Like I said, he’s got high standards of himself and I’m positive he’ll come good.”

Of particular encouragement to Gale is that there is competition for places in the batting line-up.

Fraine, for example, has forced his way back through weight of runs in the second team, with others chomping at the bit for a first-team place.

“It’s great to see lads knocking on the door in the second team,” said Gale. “Two or three years ago we didn’t have the strength in depth from a batting point of view, and someone like Tom would just retain their place all season without any pressure, whereas now I’m sure that Tom will naturally feel the pressure with lads scoring runs in the seconds.

“It also works both ways. Tom Loten started the season in the first team and I thought he did okay without making a score, so my message to him now is to go back and do what Frainey’s done.”

Yorkshire are still without pace pair Ben Coad (shoulder) and Matthew Fisher (abdominal), although Coad will train at Headingley this week and Fisher has started playing for the seconds.

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