Gary Ballance is hoping to follow the lead of Yorkshire’s up and comers as he bids for a run-filled end to the summer.
Ballance says he loved playing his part in the county’s run to the Royal London Cup knockout stages alongside the likes of Harry Duke, George Hill, Will Luxton, Matthew Revis and Josh Sullivan, who all made their mark at stages.
The former England batsman captained the side during the latter stages of a campaign which ended with an Eliminator defeat to Essex at Chelmsford on Saturday.
Now, attention switches to the Vitality Blast and the LV= Insurance County Championship, starting with a Blast quarter-final against Sussex Sharks at Emirates Durham next Tuesday evening.
“Personally, I’ve been a bit scratchy for the last few weeks and haven’t really found any form,” said the left-hander. “But that’s how it goes.
“I’ve learnt from the younger players. I’m not someone who will rest and be happy with what I’ve got. There is always room for improvement.
“Watching these guys, I can learn stuff from them and keep getting better.
“One thing I have learnt is around how they go about it – with that no fear attitude.
“That’s quite common with younger players. But it just shows that even as an older or senior player, whatever you want to call it, you can still go out and play like that. It’s very refreshing to see, and hopefully I can get that back into my game.”
Tuesday against Sussex starts an exciting season finale.
“It’s six weeks of cricket, and there’s a chance to win two trophies. The lads will be well up for it,” continued Ballance.
“Hopefully, firstly, we can put in a good performance against Sussex up at Durham and get to Finals Day. That would give us momentum going into those last four Championship games.
“All the lads will enjoy being back together after the Hundred.
“It’s a great opportunity. To have a chance of getting to Finals Day is brilliant. We haven’t won one of them, but Finals Day is a great day – one of the big days in the county summer.”
The Vikings face the Sharks at Durham’s Riverside ground due to Emerald Headingley being in use for the third Test Match between England and India.
“It’s not Headingley, but I’m sure we’ll still have a lot of Yorkshire fans there. That will be an advantage to us,” said Ballance.
“We’ll do our research on scores there, how the pitches have played.
“At the end of the day, if we play like we can – no matter where it is, we’ve got a great a chance to get through.
“Sussex are a good team with so many experienced T20 players. But we’re confident, and I’d definitely back us.”
New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson has confirmed his availability for the quarter-final before departing for IPL duty at the start of September.
Yorkshire, who are yet to win a Blast title, are the only county to qualify for the top division of the Championship and the knockout stages of both limited overs competitions this season.
It is a nice statistic, but certainly not the most important one.
“It’s always nice to get to quarter-finals or semi-finals, whatever. But, at the end of the day, you want to win trophies,” said Ballance, who has also talked up White Rose chances in the Championship.
They re-start that competition against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl on August 30, the first of four remaining group games.
Yorkshire are bottom of the top group having carried through 4.5 points from the initial group phase. They are 16.5 points behind leaders Warwickshire, with the top team winning the Championship title and the top two qualifying for the Bob Willis Trophy final.
“We’re going to have to win games, but we have nothing to lose,” added Ballance.
“Why can’t we go and win it? We have four games against top sides. Let’s go out and try and win every one.”