Yorkshire pick strong side to face students

YORKSHIRE will field a full-strength team '“ minus their World T20 stars '“ when they take on Leeds-Bradford MCCU in a three-day friendly at Headingley, starting today.

First-team coach Jason Gillespie has named the strongest side available to him as the club complete their preparations for their County Championship season, which begins on Sunday against Hampshire at Headingley.

Gillespie said that England Test wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow will play the first two days of the match but has a prior commitment on day three, with Jonathan Read set to deputise.

The presence of Bairstow means that Yorkshire will start with the top-six likely to line-up against Hampshire, with Adam Lyth and Gary Ballance looking to re-state their own Test claims after they were casualties of last year’s Ashes series.

“We’re looking forward to going out there and having a good game against the students,” said Gillespie. “Officially, it’s a friendly, but we’ll certainly be treating it as a first-class fixture.

“The lads who have come back from the World T20 won’t be playing this week – we’re giving them a little bit of extra time off after a hectic winter – but they’ll be available for selection (apart from Joe Root) for the first Championship game.”

Yorkshire: Lyth, Lees, Ballance, Gale (captain), Bairstow, Leaning, Rhodes, Patterson, Brooks, Carver, Sidebottom. 12th man: Jack Shutt. For day three, Jonathan Read replaces Jonny Bairstow.