Preview: finish the season in style at Surrey— 23 September 2013
Yorkshire’s director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon believes Yorkshire are well placed to repeat this season’s encouraging LV= County Championship performances and even go one better than second place in 2014.
But the former opening batsman has warned the White Rose players not to take anything for granted as they prepare for next season.
With Durham confirmed as champions and Yorkshire in second place, this week’s trip to the Oval to face relegated Surrey is in effect a dead rubber. But it is a match that provides Yorkshire with the opportunity to head into the winter on a high and to start preparations for next summer as well.
Yorkshire go in search of their eighth win, starting tomorrow, and Moxon said: “We don’t want to be thinking we did well there and then taking our foot off the gas, we can’t afford to be complacent.
“This league is very tough, and you only have to look at Surrey being relegated after being favourites to win the Championship at the start of the season. So we can’t take anything for granted.
“We have a game to finish at the Oval, and we want to finish on a high there. Then we’ve got a bit of time off, and we’ll come back strong next year.
“I think we’re a good team, and I don’t think there are too many weaknesses. But there are percentages here and there that we can improve upon. But, by and large, we’re a good team. The key is not to get complacent and to try and work hard and improve.”
Yorkshire have only lost two Championship matches this summer, one against Sussex at Headingley in the first week of the campaign and against Durham at Scarborough last month. The latter proved to be the telling blow in the title race.
“We played some really good cricket this summer, yet we only finished second,” added Moxon. “So it’s a lesson for us going forward. We have to maintain our standards.
“When you start out the season, you know every session counts. You can’t afford to be off colour. I think we have learned that even though we knew it before. It’s been driven home by this season’s events.”
The corresponding fixture between the two sides finished in a draw at Headingley in late June. Andrew Gale’s 148 in the first innings was the standout performance for the hosts.
The last time Yorkshire travelled to the Oval for a Championship match was in 2008 when the sides played out a high-scoring draw. Gale scored a first-innings 150 in that match too.
Yorkshire have added 17-year-old left arm spinner Karl Carver to their squad for the trip to Surrey. Carver, who has been in outstanding form for the second XI and Academy this season also represented England under 19s in the summer and has a bright future in the game.
“Karl deserves his call-up to the squad after some strong performances for the seconds and Academy,” added Moxon.
“It will be a good experience for him to be part of our preparations this week in London at Surrey.”
Yorkshire squad to face Surrey at Kia Oval, commencing Tuesday September 24 2013:
Jonny Bairstow (wk), Gary Ballance, Jack Brooks, Karl Carver, Andrew Gale ©, Phil Jaques, Alex Lees, Adam Lyth, Steven Patterson, Liam Plunkett, Richard Pyrah, Adil Rashid, Ryan Sidebottom, Kane Williamson.