Wednesday, 13 June 2012
PREVIEW: t20 is back and it's time to shine
Andrew Gale takes his Yorkshire side into this season's Friends Life t20 campaign with renewed confidence. This could be Yorkshire's year and time for a talented young side to shine.
A glance at the squad that’s been assembled at Headingley and there is every reason to feel optimistic that the unwanted tag of the Tykes being one of only three sides never to reach Finals Day can be shed in 2012, the tenth season for the t20 competition.
The win in the Barbados Twenty20 Cup during the pre-season tour in March has given the Yorkshire squad a belief that they can take on all comers.
That success in the Caribbean was impressive. Full of energy, positivity and a never say die attitude the Yorkshire team were the best of the six counties on show and won on merit. A young, energetic, hungry team were a pleasure to watch in Barbados and certainly have what it takes to succeed.
The format is reduced to 5 home and 5 away games with the top two sides from six guaranteed a spot in the quarter-finals. The two best third placed sides make up the last eight. In a competition where luck plays a part and one man can turn a game it gives sides little scope for poor results, but the revised format reduces the number of dead rubbers which abounded last year.
Yorkshire have a number of star players. The newly signed David Miller is a left-handed South African who could potentially make a huge difference. In matches where his big hitting comes off the game could change dramatically within 3 overs.
Add to Miller the talismanic Andrew Gale who has enjoyed success in recent years at lighting the touch paper at the top of the order. Throw in Gary Ballance who is now a real force as an attacking batsman and get a few more Tykes to stick their hands up and there’s a batting order that should worry opposition attacks.
Yorkshire have meandered through the middle of their innings in recent times and lost any initiative gained in the first 6 powerplay overs. To be successful they need to take calculated risks and think big from the off. There may be times when this approach fails, but generally teams that aim for 220 and fall 40 runs short are better place than sides who go for 160 and make it.
The Tykes were at their most impressive in the field in Barbados. The ‘hustle’ inside the 30-yard circle was there for all to see and intimidated the opposition. But it was the bowling that impressed most. Sidebottom and Wardlaw in particular knew their lengths and variations and, when spin was introduced, Rashid and Rafiq bowled with confidence and stifled runs.
The best performance in Barbados was against Notts in the semi-finals. Gale scored a ton on a good track and Notts set about their task of overhauling Yorkshire’s score at quite a lick. Yorkshire sides of the past would have crumbled.
This side stuck at it, took wickets and ran out comfortable victors in the end. They took that confidence to the Kensington Oval later in the day and Warwickshire were beaten as soon as they saw the Tykes – standing tall, chests out, confident.
Cricket-wise Richard Pyrah has had a summer to forget. He missed the Caribbean triumph to be at the birth of his twin girls and then a broken hand in the first Championship match of the summer has seen him disappear from 1st team duties since. Now fully recovered he has been a key t20 player for the Tykes and this should be the competition that kickstarts his season.
It wouldn’t be Yorkshire without some ups and downs over the next few weeks, but 2012 should be Yorkshire’s time to shine.
Get behind them!
Once again BBC Radio Leeds and Yorkshire Radio will be providing ball-by-ball commentary on all games home and away.
You can also keep up-to-date with Yorkshire's progress on the YCCC Twitter feed and on the Club website.
150th Year Celebration
2 Sep 2013
Abbeydale Sports Club, Sheffield