The message coming from the Yorkshire dressing room is plain and simple. There is still a lot of hard work to do with nothing won yet.
The White Rose county head into tomorrow’s mouthwatering clash with Durham at Scarborough, the battle between first and second in the LV= County Championship’s Division One, with a 25.5 point lead at the top.
But Durham, who have five to play, have a game in hand on the rest of the division bar bottom placed Surrey. Should they win this week, it is likely that they will be installed as title favourites.
So with that in mind, there is no way Yorkshire can become complacent on the back of their stunning 10-wicket win against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge last week.
“Everybody is saying that, and we won’t get carried away,” insisted director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon. “We’re enjoying the wins as everyone does, but the first words the captain said in the dressing room were ‘let’s just keep doing what we’re doing and not get carried away.”
But is that easier said than done?: “It is, but I think there is a desire within the group to go and win this thing now.”
Durham head into the fixture in buoyant mood themselves having demolished Surrey by an innings and 144 runs at Emirates Durham, with a starring role from Bradford-born debutant seamer Usman Arshad, who took two cheap wickets in both innings.
Both Yorkshire and Durham have won six matches this season, although Durham have lost three to Yorkshire’s one.
First-team coach Jason Gillespie echoed Moxon’s comments: “We played well against Notts, but this is a new game and a new challenge for us in different conditions. It starts on Wednesday, and we have to be switched on.”
Ryan Sidebottom is a three-time Championship winner – once with Yorkshire and twice with Notts.
The 36-year-old enjoyed a stellar match against his former county last week with seven wickets – four in the first innings and three in the second. He is just three away from posting 600 first-class wickets in his career having passed his father Arnie’s haul last week.
And the left-arm swing bowler can’t wait for this week’s clash. He added: “It will probably be a full house at Scarborough with Durham being a pretty local team. It will be an interesting game.
“I think you have to look forward to every big game. There are a lot of young lads in our dressing room that may never get the chance to win another Championship, so we have got to keep that in mind and keep going.”
Durham will be without injured fast bowler Graham Onions.
Yorkshire welcome back middle order batsman Gary Ballance, who missed the victory over Nottinghamshire last week at Trent Bridge, after performing for the England Lions.
For the second successive match, Johnny Bairstow is named in the squad after his exploits with England over the summer.
With Balance, Bairstow and new overseas signing Kane Williamson all in contention, Gale has a difficult selection dilemma on his hands.
“It will be a tough selection,” said Gale.
“We have Gary Ballance back from England Lions duty and he is in a rich vein of form with the bat. We have Kane Williamson, our new overseas player, establishing himself in the squad and Johnny Bairstow is also available for the second successive match. That is the beauty of having a talented squad with everyone playing their part. It will be a difficult decision to leave someone out. The pressure will be on the players to perform and try and retain their place in the team.”