Yorkshire v Warwickshire: White Rose target final-day run chase as Jordan Thompson looks for improvements

JORDAN THOMPSON is determined to improve his batting returns as Yorkshire prepare for a key day in the County Championship title race.

Yorkshire's Jordan Thompson. Picture: Will Palmer/SWpix.com

The White Rose go into the final day of their game against Warwickshire at Emerald Headingley on 50-3 in their second innings, requiring a further 174 to force a win that would realistically keep their hopes alive.

Thompson, the 24-year-old all-rounder from Yeadon, has enjoyed a fine season with the ball and is Yorkshire’s leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 43 at an average of 19.81.

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But he has been less pleased with his batting form – 346 runs at 20.35 – and believes that he should be contributing more for the team.

“I feel, batting at No 8, that I should be more responsible and scoring more runs because that can be a crucial position,” he said.

“If I can score 500/600 runs in the year at No 8, averaging kind of 30-plus, then the team’s really going to benefit from that.

“I feel like I batted well in white-ball this year (Thompson had Yorkshire’s best strike-rate in the T20 Blast with 185 runs per 100 balls), but in the red-ball there’s room for improvement because I know I can score big runs, as I showed at Notts last year (when he struck a career-best 98).

“I feel like I’ve got the ability to bat higher in the order if required, but I’ve got things to work on and I want to improve.”

Thompson hit 57 – his first Championship half-century of the season – in the win over Somerset at Scarborough last week.

His all-round skills have become increasingly valuable and Andrew Gale, the Yorkshire first XI coach, has often spoken of his admiration for the player’s chest-puffed-out, get-stuck-in attitude, describing Thompson as “my type of cricketer”.

Thompson is still making his way in the first-class game – the current fixture is only his 19th appearance – and he has backed up a breakthrough year in 2020 with his red-ball bowling especially.

Another seven wickets would see him reach the proud milestone of 50 wickets for the Championship campaign – a milestone not achieved by a Yorkshire player since Jack Brooks signed off his fine years of service with 51 wickets in 2018.

“I feel like I’ve bowled well in red-ball all year and picked up wickets by being patient and using my skills,” said Thompson. “I’ve stayed in and around decent areas and I’ve done well, so I can’t really complain.

“It’s something that I’ve looked to improve on in past years, my red-ball bowling, and it’s paid off, and I’ll obviously look to keep improving that side of my game too. I’ll try my best (for 50 wickets) and it would be nice but we’ll see what happens.”

Thompson looks fit and fresh going into the final throes of the summer and took season’s-best figures of 5-52 in the second innings of the current match against Warwickshire, where no play was possible on day three owing to rain.

He had a bit of mid-season respite during The Hundred, playing only three matches for the Northern Superchargers franchise based at Headingley, and feels that the tournament energised him somewhat.

“The Hundred kind of revitalised me a little bit because I didn’t really bowl,” said Thompson. “I bowled a lot in training towards the end of the tournament, and I bowled a lot with the red ball in training to get ready for the Champo stuff.

“I like to bowl overs. I think that bowling overs keeps me fit. When I have a couple of weeks off it probably shows out there that I’m kind of losing my rhythm a little bit.

“When I’m in the flow I like to keep bowling and my body has held up well throughout the season.”