Yorkshire's Ben Coad determined to build on his positive shift in mentality

AS preparations for the new County Championship continue apace, Yorkshire's very own fast bowler Ben Coad declares himself to be '˜full of confidence' going into the 2018 season, despite acknowledging the pressure to replicate his 2017 form.

Taken by surprise: Ben Coad reacts after taking a wicket during what was a strong campaign with Yorkshire last summer. He will look to replicate that in 2018. (Picture: Allan Mckenzie/SWpix.com)
Taken by surprise: Ben Coad reacts after taking a wicket during what was a strong campaign with Yorkshire last summer. He will look to replicate that in 2018. (Picture: Allan Mckenzie/SWpix.com)

The 24-year-old went from containing bowler to wicket-taker last season, achieving a 10-wicket haul against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, sandwiched in between two six-wicket hauls against Hampshire and rivals Lancashire.

Looking back on it now, Coad believes a change in his mental approach was the reason for his success.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

“I think I changed my mentality,” he said.

Ben Coad steaming in (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

“At the start of last season I went out to actually take wickets rather than being a containing bowler, and I think that was massive for me.”

But looking ahead to 2018, Coad has put no limit on what he can achieve and believes he can reproduce what he did on the field last season.

“After last year there’s a lot of people saying there’s pressure on me now but I’m full of confidence knowing I can actually do it and full of belief I can do it again,” he said.

Despite his glittering individual performances last season, Yorkshire CCC endured a tough campaign after being dragged into a tight relegation battle in Andrew Gale’s first season in charge.

Ben Coad steaming in (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

But the young bowler says the still relatively new head coach has the full confidence of the players to turn it around.

“He’s got all the lads backing him I think he’s a great coach,” said Coad.

“On a personal level he’s helped me out massively and given me the chance to prove myself in the first team.

“So all the lads are behind him and I think we’ll put it right as players this coming year on the field.”

Since the conclusion of the 2017 season, Yorkshire have re-recruited New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson for the fourth time, and with Gary Balance expected to return to the county side, Yorkshire have seemingly bolstered their batting options.

Although Williamson does not join the side until July 13, Coad feels Yorkshire have enough at the top of the batting order to remain competitive throughout the season.

“There are a lot of younger lads, not just the seniors, and by the looks of it we’ll have Gary back so he’ll be great for us,” he added.

“Obviously all the lads are full of talent here and with the young talent coming through, they’ll be great competition for places.”

Yorkshire’s opening game of the 2018 season is a mouth-watering date against champions Essex and after suffering a heavy defeat to them in the final game of their 2017 campaign, Coad feels it’s a good time to play them, especially at their home ground at Emerald Headingly.

“I think it’s a good time to have them, especially here,” said Coad.

“I think we can beat anyone here, this is our patch we are very good at Headingly and I think it will be good for us because they didn’t just beat us, they beat pretty much every team convincingly so it’ll be a good challenge for us and I believe we’ll be in a very strong position to beat them.”

That opening game is on April 13-16 as Yorkshire look to embark on another title-challenging campaign, with Coad playing a prominent role in their bowling attack.