Yorkshire v Durham LV= County Championship Division One, Wednesday August 28 2013
In this edition of ‘Yorkshire Informer’ we look ahead to the LV= County Championship match when table-toppers Yorkshire face second placed Durham at Scarborough starting on Wednesday.
We speak to Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale as we aim to cement their place at the top of the table with four matches to go.
See below for all the team news and a full statspack.
The team must be full of confidence at the moment?
“We are playing some positive cricket and to go to Trent Bridge and win within three days was a great result for us. The guys put in a fantastic effort and even though we are clear at the top of the table, we know there is a lot of cricket to be played. We are excited about what the next five weeks hold and it should be an interesting end to the season.”
How much are you and the players looking forward to playing at Scarborough this week?
“It is always a great venue to play at and we have had some positive results at the ground in recent times. With it being Festival week, there will be a big crowd and with the added incentive of playing Durham, who are in second place, it will be extra special. The boys are very excited and it should be a terrific game.
“We are a well-supported county and having a passionate crowd in their big numbers will really give the team a boost. We know the atmosphere will be great. Members and players love either playing or watching at the venue and with the added incentive of cementing our place at the top of the league, the crowd can play a major part.”
What can we expect from Durham?
“It is going to be difficult. They are in a rich vein of form and we will have to be at our best to repeat our recent run of victories. If we can come away with the majority of the points, we will put ourselves in a good position with three games to go.
“They will come full of confidence after beating Surrey. They lost a day through rain and still won. It has the makings of a great game.”
What has impressed you with your team in recent weeks?
“It’s quite simple, we are nailing the basics. There is no hidden formula at maintaining our performances. All we do is perform the basics better than the opposition for a longer period of time. We try and keep things simple and everyone in the squad is comfortable with their responsibilities.
“It is all about putting the ball in good areas. If you do that you will get the rewards. From a batting point of view, we are making big scores and everyone is contributing with the bat and we are building strong partnerships throughout our innings.”
Are you starting to think that the title is within your grasp now?
“We can’t afford to think that we have the title in the bag. There is still a quarter of the season left and a hell of a lot of cricket to be played. It can turn around very fast and the last thing we want is talking about winning titles. We are playing well at present and with a lot of confidence, but with some pivotal matches still to be played, all we can do is concentrate on each day. We will not be getting carried away with our status in the table.
We are aware of the expectation levels surrounding the club and that is understandable. As a Yorkshire cricketer that comes with the territory and that’s what makes the Club special. The players have dealt with that really well. We are a grounded group and we are looking forward to the challenge. We relish the pressure and we won’t be taking a backward step.”
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 Ballance, 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.”