Tuesday, 10 April 2012
CAPTAIN's (B)LOG 2012: "Plenty of Positives"
Andrew Gale's writing a regular blog this season for the Yorkshire Evening Post...
10 April: Plenty of Positives
We got our season underway with a draw at home to Kent and it’s been great to get back up and running. Also, from a personal point of view after having a long lay off it was good to get back on the field and play some competitive cricket. I think the lads were itching to play. Things could have gone a bit better on the first couple of days but I thought we battled back well.
It was a high scoring game against Kent and I wasn’t really expecting that as I thought the pitch was as good as we’re going to see it all season at Headingley. I thought it was a really good batting wicket but an impressive cricket wicket where if you put the ball in the right areas you get your rewards and it showed that. You would have expected the pitch to have done a little bit more considering it had snowed the day before the season started, but there was no moisture in it!
I think there were a lot of positives to take out of the game and I think from a bowling point of view we could have been a little bit more consistent in the first few days and bowled better in partnerships. The margin for error was very small on that sort of pitch. But I thought from a batting point of view, when someone gets around 500, it’s easy for a side to crumble but not for one moment did we crumble.
I know we just narrowly missed out on avoiding the follow on but I thought the way the lads batted was very encouraging and if we get 350 plus in the first innings at Headingley on a regular basis then we are always going to be in the game.
I thought the way Adil Rashid and Ajmal Shahzad bowled was a real positive as well.
Jonny Bairstow also got a century and the club is also immensely proud of the way his career is going. He’s the man of the moment. He’s had a fantastic winter and he’s brought that form into the season. I’m sure well be seeing a few more Bairstow hundreds before the end of the season.
We finished off with a draw and a lot of the members at the club just think we are going to walk straight back into Division One this season but there’s some very good workmanlike sides in the second division of the County Championship.
It’s not going to be plain sailing, that is for sure, and that showed last week. There’s some good sides out there and we are going to have to play some excellent cricket to get out of this league.
Next up we’ve got the Leeds-Bradford University game starting on Friday and that will give us an opportunity to rest some of the key bowlers and also to play some of the lads that have not played enough.
We’ll be full strength from a batting point of view but from a bowling perspective, I think at this stage of the season particularly with Sidey (Ryan Sidebottom) and Ajmal (Shahzad) bowling 30 plus overs on the first two days of the season, we need to manage that in these matches.
Other than that we’ll be getting some good practice in before the next County Championship match against Essex which starts a week on Thursday.
I was particularly pleased to see Tim Bresnan, who bowled again in the second Test against Sri Lanka, and he has an excellent record in England games having had 11 wins. He seems to be the good luck charm.
Things weren’t so good for my team Huddersfield Town at the weekend and automatic promotion seems out of our grasp now but it’s all about momentum and form going into the play-offs!
Day 2, 2nd Investec Test close
England v New Zealand
England 1st Innings
337 for 7 (94 overs)
Root 104 (Maiden Test century) Bairstow 64