Tom Kohler-Cadmore made it look ridiculously simple yesterday, scoring 109 on day one of the three-day friendly against Leeds-Bradford MCCU, reaching his hundred 20 minutes before lunch.
Kohler-Cadmore retired out at lunch and might still have been batting now had he not done so.
There seemed little prospect of him being shifted by conventional means, the tall right-hander driving and pulling with customary power as Yorkshire scored 417-4 ahead of what promises to be an important season for him.
Aged 26, and having worked his way firmly on to England’s radar (he was part of their back-to-training group last year and previously represented England Lions), Kohler-Cadmore is at a pivotal stage of his career.
He had a good winter with Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League, and with Pune Devils in the Abu Dhabi T10 League, enhancing his status as a white-ball player.
But his red-ball credentials are increasingly impressive.
Pre-pandemic, Kohler-Cadmore looked primed to show as much to a wider audience, having scored more than 1,000 first-class runs in 2019, but he is not getting carried away at the prospect of achieving full England honours.
“I always think everyone in county cricket is kind of six weeks, seven weeks away from being talked about for England,” he said yesterday, after making his runs from exactly 100 balls with 21 fours and a straight six off the left-arm spinner Josh Haynes into the Emerald Stand.
“Say if one of our youngsters, James Wharton, broke into the Yorkshire first-team and scored four hundreds in six weeks, opening the batting, I’m pretty sure there’d be people talking about potential England for him, or at least a Lions tour.
“You only have to look at Dom Sibley a couple of years ago. He scored so many runs that they couldn’t not pick him, and he’s not looked back since. So every player in England has the opportunity.
“Obviously I’d like to be the one who’s putting my name out there, but, if not, then that’s just the way it is. At 26, anything can happen career-wise. But there’s definitely the hunger there to play for England, there’s the hunger to be Yorkshire’s leading run-scorer every season, and all I can do is give it my best.”
If Kohler-Cadmore sounds relaxed about his prospects of playing Test and/or white-ball international cricket, as opposed to giving off the air of someone who is fretting about things as the sands of time trickle, it is because he is comfortable with where his career is at now.
His growing experience of T20 franchise cricket around the world has broadened his knowledge and improved his game, and he points to the example of how this has assisted the likes of Liam Livingstone, the Lancashire batsman who is a year older at 27, and who made his one-day international debut for England last week.
“You look at Liam Livingstone,” said Kohler-Cadmore. “He’s now come into international cricket and looked at home because he’s played in the IPL, the Big Bash, the PSL, and so on.
“He’s played against all the cricketers that he’ll be playing against on the international stage, and I just think it (franchise cricket) helps to grow your experience.
“I’ve not played international cricket yet, but I’ve been able to travel the world and play some great competitions, which I’m very privileged to have done, and for me it’s just about doing well and winning games for the team that I’m in.”
On an excellent batting pitch at Headingley yesterday, with both teams naming 13 players, Kohler-Cadmore stood tall in more ways than one.
The students fought hard after winning the toss – they have had precious little preparation due to the Covid restrictions – and it was tough going for them on an extremely breezy if sun-kissed day, with the wind whipping and whistling around the old ground.
Kohler-Cadmore reached his half-century from 55 balls and needed only 28 more deliveries to bring up his hundred. He made his 109 out of 146 for the first wicket with Tom Loten, the 22-year-old who crafted a patient 84 from 206 balls with 11 fours before falling just before tea, caught at slip off the spinner Haynes.
Gary Ballance continued his solid pre-season with 66 from 88 balls with eight fours and a six, off-spinner Nick Keast removing him courtesy of a catch behind the stumps as he attempted to cut.
Harry Brook struck 76 from 110 balls with 12 fours before edging Hishaam Khan behind, Will Fraine (61) and Jonny Tattersall (11) the not out batsmen.
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