THE ODDS may be long, but Yorkshire Vikings have not yet given up hope of gatecrashing the Vitality T20 Blast quarter-finals.
Bottom of the North Group table ahead of tonight’s visit to Durham and with only one win from 10 games, it would be understandable for most people to have written off the visitors’ chances.
But, with four of their games so far having been washed out, Andrew Gale’s side are clinging to the faint hope that they can pull off the unexpected, sitting four points adrift of the crucial top four places with four games remaining.
Mathematically, Yorkshire are obviously still in the game but, realistically, they are probably going to have to win those four games and hope other results go their way.
Either way and despite the fact enough promise has been shown at various times throughout the competition this season, this coming winter is expected to see another re-evaluation of the club’s approach to the format and, no doubt, limited overs cricket in general.
This year’s Royal London Cup campaign proved another dismal affair, Yorkshire finishing sixth in the North Group having posted just the two wins from their eight games.
Our white ball campaign this season has been a big frustration to all of us, both the 50-over and the T20. That’s something we need to look at this winter.Andrew Gale
Paul Grayson, the club’s batting coach, admitted both white-ball formats had proved nothing but a source of immense frustration once again at Headingley.
“Our white ball campaign this season has been a big frustration to all of us, both the 50-over and the T20,” said Grayson. “That’s something we need to look at this winter.
“We’ve been searching for our best side in both formats for a while. It’s been in and out.
“The key in the shorter formats is about knowing your role within the side. But when the side’s chopping and changing, it can be very difficult.
“Sometimes you can have too big a squad. If you’re not playing well and getting results, you chop and change the side quite quickly.”
Ripon-born Grayson, played for Yorkshire between 1990-96 before a move south to Essex was to eventually lead to him becoming head coach at Chelmsford 11 years later.
It was in the shorter formats of the game that Essex excelled in the early years of Grayson’s tenure, with a Friends Provident triumph in 2008 being followed by a further title in Division Two of the National League.
“At Essex, we had 14 one-day players who we stuck with,” said Grayson. “Sometimes you have to be quite stubborn and say, ‘Right, this is how we’re going to play and we will come through’.
“When that Essex side was going well, it ran like clockwork. I knew who was going to bowl at certain times. I knew if a game was going to plan.
“That’s something we will have to look at over the winter here but, having said that, we could still win our last four games and have a chance of qualifying.
“But, up to now this season, we know that our white ball cricket hasn’t been as good as it should be.”
Yorkshire (from): T Bresnan, H Brook, W Fraine, T Kohler-Cadmore (capt), J Leaning, A Lyth, K Maharaj, D Olivier, M Pillans, J Shutt, J Tattersall (wkt), J Thompson, M Waite, D Willey.