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Yorkshire Informer: all the news ahead of Somerset on Sunday

— 11 April 2014

In this edition of ‘Yorkshire Informer’ we look ahead to the opening LV= County Championship match of the season when Yorkshire travel to Taunton to face Somerset. We hear from Captain Andrew Gale who gives his thoughts on the season ahead.

We also bring you all the team news and a full statspack.

  • Andrew Gale:

    How are you feeling after the hip injury?

    “I’m ready to go and can’t wait for the weekend. I had a centre net at Headingley on Thursday and came through without any problems. I treated it like a match situation with a number of net bowlers. I had a few boxes to tick in terms of running between the wicket and it went well.

    “I also spent the early part of the week with the squad at Wantage Road during our three-day friendly and took part in some of the fielding drills. Fingers crossed I will be leading the side out at Taunton on Sunday.”

    How have you reacted with the news of Jonathan Bairstow’s injury?

    “I really felt for Jonny. He has been working hard on his game and he was looking forward to the new season. I was there on Tuesday when it happened and it looked so innocuous. I hope that it can heal quickly and he’ll be back sooner rather than later.

    “It’s not ideal to lose Jonny, but we will cope. The squad is big enough and experienced enough for someone to come in and do a quality job for us, both with the gloves and the bat.”

    Who will replace him?

    “Andrew Hodd (pictured) will come into the side and we all know how good his keeping is. I’ve got no negative thoughts about that. Andrew is one of the best stumpers on the circuit. It won’t affect the dynamics of the team. The lads are very excited and focussed on going to Taunton and trying to get a positive result.”

    How does the team react to having an extended break to the opening game of the season with a lot of teams playing this week?

    “The lads are more than ready for the start. We’ve had a good run out against Northamptonshire this week. There are only so many practice matches you can play. The lads need competitive cricket and feel some nerves and anxiety. That pressure environment brings the best out of us.”

  • What can we expect from Somerset?

    “Taunton is always a tough place to go. Somerset didn’t have a good season last year and they performed well under par for the team that they have got.

    “They have changed the personnel around and they will have something to prove to their supporters and the wider cricket community. They have some real match winners in their side and under the leadership of Marcus Trescothick they will want to get off to a good start with a win.

    “I would imagine this time of the year there will be a little bit in the pitch. Hopefully, through our attack, we can take advantage of that and come away with a result.

    “There are always a lot of results around in April. Our immediate aim is to start positively and try get two to three wins on the board before mid-May.

    “We didn’t start as well as we would have liked last season and hopefully we can get out of the blocks on Sunday.”

    Who has impressed in the practice games we’ve had this season?

    “Gary Ballance continues to dominate with the bat and I expect another big season for him, especially now that he has broken into the England set-up.

    “Alex Lees scored a century at Northamptonshire and bullied their attack on the first day. He was in magnificent form and is now maturing into a top-class professional, who I think can have a major impact on our season.”

  • Gary Ballance one to watch in 2014.

    The start to the 2014 season looks to be the most intriguing for many years with every player, especially the England players, needing to impress. What are your thoughts on the next few weeks across the county game?

    “It’s going to be tough for everyone. Most players are feeling the pressure to deliver every time they go out onto the field.

    “Whether you’re a selector, a pundit or even a supporter there will be a lot of interest in the scorecards up and down the country. There will be added pressure on the England players to perform an every time the go out to the middle they will feel the pressure building. It’s how you deal with it that counts. It will be intriguing for everyone connected to the game.

    “It is difficult to predict which teams are going to make a challenge for the title. That is the beauty of the County Championship – every team is capable of beating each other.

    “We will have to play some good cricket during the early part of the season to get some results. I said from the outset that I expect us to be up there. We certainly have the squad to compete for silverware. It was a tough pill to swallow missing out last season. This time we want to go one better and win it.”

    How do you deal with the massive expectation from the Yorkshire supporters?

    “There is always a high expectation when you play cricket for Yorkshire. That is what we all sign up for.

    “You walk through the gates at Headingley or Scarborough and you feel the sense of history straight away. We are aware of the drought in terms of silverware and we want to address that. This group of players perform better when under pressure. Hopefully this will be our year.”

  • Team News:

    Yorkshire will be without the services of England star Jonathan Bairstow. The 24-year-old sustained a fractured finger on his left hand in this week’s three-day friendly against Northamptonshire and is set to miss the first six weeks of the season.

    Wicketkeeper Andrew Hodd, who has been playing for the Yorkshire Second XI against Glamorgan in Cardiff this week, has been added to the 12-man squad.

    Left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom (pictured) is also included having been rested from this week’s practice match.

    The starting XI will be named before the toss on Sunday.

    Yorkshire 12-man squad to face Somerset:

    Moin Ashraf, Gary Ballance, Jack Brooks, Andrew Gale (capt), Andrew Hodd (wk), Alex Lees, Adam Lyth, Steve Patterson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Ryan Sidebottom, Kane Williamson.

  • Milestones:

    Gary Ballance requires 68 runs for a total of 3,000 in all First-Class matches for Yorkshire.

    Gary Ballance requires 127 runs for a First-Class total of 5,000

    Andrew Hodd requires 2 catches for a First-Class total of 150.

    Alex Lees requires 90 runs for a First-Class total of 1,000.

    Adam Lyth (pictured) requires 93 runs for a First-Class total of 5,000.

    Steve Patterson requires 5 wickets for a First-Class total of 200.

    Adil Rashid (pictured) requires 6 wickets for a total of 300 in all First-Class matches for Yorkshire.

  • Statspack

    Results (home and away)

    Played 165, Yorkshire won 89, lost 22 and drew 54

    Highest innings totals

    Yorkshire 589-5 Bath 2001
    At Taunton 549-9dec 1905

    Somerset 620 Headingley 1901
    In Somerset 592 Taunton 1982

    Lowest innings totals

    Yorkshire 73 Headingley 1895
    In Somerset 83 Wells 1949
    Somerset 35 Bath 1898
    At Taunton 48 1954

    Highest individual innings

    Yorkshire 213 H Sutcliffe Dewsbury 1924
    In Somerset 207 MJ Wood of Huddersfield Taunton 2003
    Somerset 297 MJ Wood of Exeter Taunton 2005

    Best bowling in an innings

    Yorkshire 10-35 A Drake Weston-super-Mare 1914
    At Taunton 7-16 R Appleyard 1954
    Somerset 9-41 LC Braund Sheffield (BL) 1902
    In Somerset 8-46 AE Bailey Taunton 1907

    Best bowling in a match

    Yorkshire 15- 50 R Peel Headingley 1895
    In Somerset 15- 51 A Drake Weston-super-Mare 1914
    At Taunton 13-154 SP Kirby 2003
    Somerset 15- 71 LC Braund Sheffield (BL) 1902
    In Somerset 14-247 EJ Tyler Taunton 1895

    A century and five wickets in an innings in the same match

    Yorkshire

    GH Hirst 111 & 117*; 6-70 & 5-45 Bath 1906
    W Rhodes 100; 4-49 & 5-28 Weston-super-Mare 1924
    DB Close 128 & 34; 0-72 & 6-87 Bath 1959
    DB Close 103; 5-36 & 0-4 Hull 1961

  • Last time out – Somerset v Yorkshire (LV= County Championship Division One):

    28-31 May 2013 at Taunton – match drawn

    1st Innings
    Yorkshire 450-5 dec
    Lyth 105
    Rashid 103
    Gale 75
    Hodd 68*

    Somerset 310 all out
    Hildreth 115
    Trescothick 74

    2nd Innings
    Yorkshire 104-4 dec (42 overs)
    Lyth 57*

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