Yorkshire CCC’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore simply the best as Tom Loten emerges as one to watch

THE FIRST indication that Yorkshire were going to hand a first-class debut to batsman Tom Loten came when there was a sudden burst of smiling applause in the pre-match huddle of players and coaches.

Yorkshire's Tom Kohler-Cadmore scored an unbeaten century against Warwickshire at Edgbaston before rain set in during the tea interval. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

As they stood on the outfield in front of the pavilion, that smiling and clapping could hardly have been for anything else, unless first-team coach Andrew Gale was regaling his men with funny stories which, given that they had lost their previous match to Kent by a club record 433 runs and he had accused them of lacking fight, seemed rather unlikely.

No, in the absence of viable alternatives, it had to mean that Loten, 20, the newcomer in the huddle, was going to play, confirmation of which arrived soon enough with the announcement of the teams.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The York-born youngster not only played but he played very well, scoring 58 as Yorkshire made 261-2 in exactly the sort of response that Gale had been seeking after the Kent debacle, Tom Kohler-Cadmore starring with an unbeaten 165, his highest Championship score for the club and his second century in this year’s tournament.

NEW FACE: Yorkshire's Tom Loten. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com

If Kohler-Cadmore was statistically the day’s star turn, a day when the last 32 overs were lost to rain with plenty more forecast to fall on day two, chief interest naturally centred on Loten, whose name had long been spoken of as one to watch in Yorkshire circles.

On this evidence it was obvious why; one looks for temperament with young players as well as talent, for presence in the middle and the right stuff mentally, and Loten looked immediately at home, as though the batting crease was a favourite armchair.

Taller even than the giant Kohler-Cadmore (not often does one look out on to a field and identify Kohler-Cadmore by virtue of the fact that he is the shorter batsman), the 6ft 5ins Loten is a strapping right-hander with a crouching style and a slightly idiosyncratic modus operandi.

As the bowler runs in, Loten taps his bat not behind his back foot, as most players do, but between both feet in an open-looking stance, before holding that bat aloft while rotating it very slightly up and down to the point of delivery – “a bad version of Peter Handscomb,” as he revealed that he had been good-naturedly ribbed by Warwickshire’s Oliver Hannon-Dalby, the former Yorkshire pace bowler.

It is not the style, of course, but the substance that counts, and just as impressive as striking a fifty on debut was the fact that Loten occupied the crease for nearly three hours, thereby displaying an appetite for batting that Gale has demanded.

Kohler-Cadmore, too, showed a hunger to put a price on his wicket after being promoted to open in the ongoing absence of the injured Will Fraine, with Yorkshire choosing to leave out Matthew Revis, a 17-year-old who had made his own first-class debut in the forgettable match against Kent.

After Adam Lyth fell with the score on 77, edging low to second slip as he drove at Craig Miles, Kohler-Cadmore and Loten added 184 for the second wicket in 47 overs, Loten falling to the last ball before tea in what also proved to be the last ball of the day as rain then descended.

Initially, Loten was uncertain whether he had edged the catch to slip off the spinner Alex Thomson, having hit the ground with his bat at the same time as the ball took the edge.

After consulting the replay, however, he had no complaints and he reflected proudly on a red-letter day.

“I’ll take that,” he said. “I was a bit nervy this morning coming into it; I’ve watched quite a lot of the lads growing up – Patto, Ballance, Lythy, all of them, so to be in the team with them was a bit of a dream come true and it was just good to get off to a good start.

“Batting with Tom helped; he was absolutely class. He’s really good with the young lads at Yorkshire and helps us out, and he just kept telling me to watch the ball and bat like I was batting for my club side, not batting for Yorkshire.

“It was a bit annoying nicking off the ball before rain and tea, but that’s cricket. Overall, I’m pretty happy.”

Loten hit eight fours in his 155-ball innings, a couple of them clipped neatly off his legs towards the Hollies Stand off Miles.

He was the perfect foil for Kohler-Cadmore, who played superbly all round the ground and particularly through the arc between mid-on and mid-off.

On one occasion, Kohler-Cadmore took the straight fielders out of the equation by lofting spinner Jeetan Patel for six into the Birmingham End.

An impressive feature of his innings was the way that he used his feet to Patel instead of simply allowing the Warwickshire captain to bowl at him.

There was turn and bounce for the New Zealander on a slow surface that had been used two days earlier for the Vitality Blast T20 Finals Day.

Kohler-Cadmore reached his hundred from 113 balls and needs five more runs for his Championship best and 12 more for his first-class best.

Yesterday he was simply the best, with the talented Loten not far behind.