Yorkshire Vikings v Leicestershire Foxes: Andrew Gale looking for star names to deliver before heading off on England duty

YORKSHIRE VIKINGS head coach Andrew Gale believes this year’s Vitality T20 Blast could prove to be a “tournament of two halves”.

BIG HIT: Yorkshire's Dawid Malan hits out against Birmingham Bears at Headingley  he will join up with England at the end of this week. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
BIG HIT: Yorkshire's Dawid Malan hits out against Birmingham Bears at Headingley he will join up with England at the end of this week. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Gale’s team return to action in the shorter format at Headingley tonight when they welcome Leicestershire Foxes (6.30pm) in a game which will see them looking to bounce back in positive fashion after Friday night’s defeat at Durham

That followed an opening-night victory on home soil against Birmingham Bears 24 hours previously, with Gale hoping his players can emulate that performance.

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“Anyone on the night is tough to beat, in this competition,” said Gale.

Yorkshire's coach Andrew Gale hopes to see a positive week in the T20 Blast from his team. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“Durham looked a good side, Lancashire always do.

“Look at all the teams. We beat Birmingham comfortably on Thursday and on Friday they went and got 230 and beat Notts, the defending champions.

“It’s the nature of the game. It’s about having match-winners in your team, and I’m confident we have a fair few of them.

“I think this could be a tournament of two halves because of the availability of the England players.

MAKE IT COUNT: Yorkshire Vikings' captain David WIlley celebrates dismissing Birmingham's Ed Pollock in last Thursday's win at Headingley. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“It would be nice to get some points on the board before they leave, more to take pressure off the lads coming in.

“Durham wasn’t ideal in that respect, but we still have enough players to win T20 games when they leave.”

The England players will leave the Yorkshire camp at the end of this week ahead of a T20 series against Sri Lanka.

Captain David Willey has been picked alongside Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan and Adil Rashid.

Added to the 13-man Yorkshire squad is Dom Bess, who returns having been unavailable last week due to him joining up with the England Test squad.

Bowler Matthew Fisher is also in the frame having come through playing second team cricket last week following an abdominal injury.

Leicestershire have suffered defeats to Lancashire, Derbyshire and, most recently, Durham on Sunday.

Among the Foxes line-up will be former Yorkshire junior wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Inglis.

The 26-year-old played Under-11 representative cricket with Jordan Thompson before emigrating to Perth just before his 15th birthday.

He returned to play briefly for Yorkshire’s second team alongside the likes of Ben Coad, Steve Patterson and Rashid, but has since made a name for himself Down Under, shining for both Western Australia in state cricket and Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash.

And it is in the Australian domestic T20 event that Gale has accrued first-hand knowledge of Leeds-born Inglis, the Yorkshire coach having recently worked as a member of the Hobart Hurricanes coaching team.

“He looks a proper player,” added Gale. “

He (Inglis) will probably need another good Big Bash this coming winter to get right in the frame with the Aussies. But there’s no reason why not.”

After tonight’s game, the Vikings visit Worcestershire tomorrow before hosting Durham on Friday and Derbyshire on Sunday.