By Graham Hardcastle

“We don’t get to have those two too much during the season, so we have to make the most of it when it happens.”

Gary Ballance is relishing the prospect of Jonny Bairstow and England Test captain Joe Root returning to Yorkshire’s team for the next two Specsavers County Championship matches.

Bairstow and Root will play for the White Rose against Essex at Chelmsford from this Friday and Surrey at the Oval next week as they prepare for England’s two-Test series against Pakistan at the end of the month.

Yorkshire go into the Essex clash having started 2018 with a draw, win and loss.

The draw was the weather abandoned clash with defending champions Essex at Emerald Headingley during last month’s opening round.

“It’s great having them back,” said Ballance. “They’re two world-class players, aren’t they.

“It’s brilliant for us even though it unfortunately means a couple of lads will get left out. But that’s part and parcel of things.

“It’s tough on guys because lads have only played one or two games, and it’s hard to leave people out on the evidence of such little cricket.

“But, when you’ve got two England players, it just has to happen.

“We are only seeing them for two games because of the internationals, so everybody will get plenty of cricket. We will need our full squad.

“Hopefully Jonny and Joe will get into form before the Tests start, which will be a massive help to us if they can do that.”

Watch our interview with Gary Ballance.

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