Yorkshire don’t have same trust in their T20 game, says Moxon

MARTYN MOXON believes Yorkshire have “massive room for improvement” in T20 cricket and said “we need to take a serious look at ourselves”.

Glenn Maxwell has so far proved more useful as a bowler than a batsman for Yorkshire (Picture: Steve Riding).

In a candid appraisal ahead of tonight’s match against Worcestershire at Headingley, Moxon said Yorkshire have been “way off it as a team” and “not done the basics well enough”.

The county’s director of cricket added that Yorkshire do not just want to be recognised for their efforts in the County Championship, with the club well-placed to defend their title.

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He said Yorkshire are desperate for success in one-day cricket too, but concedes they have underachieved so far in the T20 Blast, where they are second-bottom of the North Group after six defeats in 11.

“The bottom line is we’re not playing well enough in this form of the game,” said Moxon.

“All competition we’ve blown hot and cold – mainly cold – and it’s really disappointing and frustrating that we’re not performing better given the talent that’s in the team.

“All aspects of our game have massive room for improvement, and apart from individuals on occasions who have pulled out some fantastic performances, as a team we’ve not done the basics well enough.

“We’ve got to have a serious look at ourselves individually as to how we’re going to get better.”

Perhaps the biggest frustration for Moxon and the coaches is that Yorkshire have already taken a 
serious look at how to improve their T20 form.

No shortage of planning or preparation has gone into that goal, with the club having stressed its significance after failing to reach the quarter-finals last year, while Yorkshire’s commitment was highlighted when they signed two of the world’s best T20 batsmen in Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell, neither of whom have fulfilled expectations.

As expected, Finch’s season at Headingley is over after a scan revealed that he has a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot, while Maxwell has so far proved more useful as a bowler than as a batsman.

Finch is returning to Australia to see a specialist, but Moxon believes Yorkshire’s problems stem from a collective lack of belief and clear thinking.

“I don’t think we’ve got the same clarity and the same trust in our game as we have in four-day cricket,” he said.

“Obviously, T20 is a fine line sometimes in terms of margin for error, but I think we’re still individually searching for the right method.

“We’ve worked in the winter on it, and we’ve set our stall out to do well in the competition, but the facts are that we haven’t, as a team, played well enough so far.

“We are looking, as a coaching staff, as to how we can get better because clearly we’re way off it as a team at the minute.”

Moxon’s comments highlight the intense thirst for success on all fronts at Headingley.

Some counties would perhaps be content to dominate in the Championship, but no one at Yorkshire is resting on their laurels. “We want to pride ourselves on having a squad strong enough to compete on all fronts,” said Moxon. “That’s what we want to achieve. We don’t just want to be a four-day team; we want to be successful in one-day cricket.

“That’s our challenge and aim going forward.”

Theoretically, Yorkshire could still qualify if they win tonight (6.30 start) and also their last two group games at Northamptonshire on Friday and at home to Warwickshire on Friday week.

The problem is, they have not looked like winning three in a row.

“We’re not going to throw in the towel,” said Moxon.

“That’s not an option. Obviously, we’re going out to win these last three games and, if we can qualify, great. But we have to look at the one-day season as a whole and use these games as well as preparation for the forthcoming 50-over competition.”

Unless Yorkshire reach the knockout stages, Maxwell plays his final T20 tonight after being selected for the Australia A tour of India.

Yorkshire will operate without an overseas player until he returns to the club in a fortnight.

“Glenn hasn’t got the volume of runs he would have liked for us, but what I will say is that he’s someone who’s worked really hard at his game,” said Moxon.

“He’s taken every opportunity to practice, he’s played second XI cricket, and there’s been no lack of willingness to work hard and give of his best.

“He had that fantastic innings against Notts and played well against Derbyshire, and he’s bowled well. He’s been so willing to contribute in team meetings, and his willingness to pass on his knowledge and experience to our young players, in particular, has been fantastic.”

Yorkshire will be without Adil Rashid tonight, with the leg-spinner part of an unchanged squad for Thursday’s second Ashes Test at Lord’s.

Worcestershire are second in the North Group after seven victories from 11 outings.

Moin Ashraf, the 23-year-old Yorkshire pace bowler, has joined Hampshire on trial.

Ashraf has not played a first team game for almost two years.

Yorkshire squad: Bairstow, Bresnan, Carver, Fisher, Gale (captain), Gibson, Leaning, Lees, Maxwell, Plunkett, Rhodes, Shaw.