Mathew Pillans has plenty of horsepower and can’t wait to show it in a Yorkshire shirt.
The South African-born fast bowler has signed a three-year contract to join from Surrey ahead of next season, although is currently on loan at Emerald Headingley for the remainder of 2018.
Pillans, 27, arrived at Yorkshire last week and undertook 12th man duties during the home Specsavers County Championship defeat against Somerset.
He is in contention to debut against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, starting tomorrow (TUESDAY) at 10.30am, Yorkshire’s eleventh of 14 matches.
Pillans, a 90mph bowler, is grateful for the chance to get a head start during this loan move as he bids to settle into Yorkshire life.
He will then return home to South Africa to marry his fiancee Cara, who currently works with race horses on a stud farm in Surrey.
“It’s good to be here on loan,” he said.
“I can get to know all the blokes before we start pre-season in November and get my footing in the changing room. The lads have been great with me since day one.
“They showed a lot of fight last week, which was encouraging, and I’m looking forward to getting out there with them. When my debut comes, I’ll be ready.
“I played a T20 game at Notts when I was on loan with Leicester last year, and I really enjoyed the pitch we played on at Trent Bridge.
“From that one experience, I’m excited.
“If that doesn’t come around, I’ve been practising here at Headingley. And that’s derby day against Lancashire next week.
“But I’d like it to happen this week. The earlier, the better.”
Pillans’ competitive first-team cricket this year has been limited to the T20 Blast. But he has been playing three-day cricket for Surrey seconds and admits: “I’ve got overs in the legs, so I’m feeling good.
“The first week I’ve been here, the ball’s been coming out nicely.”
Pace is definitely the Pretorian’s main attribute.
“It’s one of my goals to be one of the quickest bowlers around, to push 90mph as often as possible,” he continued.
“Predominantly I move it away, but I do have one that comes back in. I’m working more and more on my in-swing. As the ball gets older, reverse also plays a part.
“My action means I fall away a bit, and that actually helps me reverse it.
“I’m definitely still learning.
“I’m still getting to know the Dukes ball and what works for me. It’s quite different to the Kookaburra back home in South Africa, which I got used to growing up.
“But this move is very exciting.
“The amount of young talent we have, we can all learn from each other. It bodes well for the club.”
Pillans, who has worked with Surrey bowling coach Ryan Sidebottom this year, has the long-term aim of qualifying for England, although that won’t come until 2023.
“International cricket is the pinnacle for any cricketer, and it’s a dream and goal of mine,” he said.
“But small steps. I have to qualify first, and I also know there’s a lot I need to learn. Hopefully, when that time comes, I’ll be bowling quickly and accurately and in contention.”
His first task, however, is to help Yorkshire stay up.
They sit second-bottom (seventh) in Division One, a point away from safety. Notts are fourth and 26 points clear having played a game more. They have lost their last three games.
“The fixtures coming up are against the teams around us, and it’s a good challenge,” added Pillans.
Stand-in captain David Willey has a facet problem in his back so opening batsman Adam Lyth will lead the side at Trent Bridge.
Kane Williamson, who passed 10,000 in his 131st first-class match in defeat against Somerset last week, has departed for New Zealand for three weeks’ rest before joining a pre-tour camp.
Test opener Jeet Raval will play the first of four scheduled First-Class matches for the White Rose.
Andrew Hodd, who scored 85 in the first innings against Somerset last week, is unavailable for selection due to a recent lower back injury flaring up. Jonny Tattersall has recovered form a back spasm, suffered ahead of that fixture, in order to resume his wicket-keeping duties.
Pace bowler Matthew Fisher, who is once again struggling with a cut on his toe, will miss the trip to Trent Bridge, while Mat Pillans could make his debut.
Steven Patterson, who is recovering from a broken left index finger, has continued to bowl and will travel to Trent Bridge to up his workload and could be fit to face Lancashire next week.
Ben Coad (side) is scheduled to play for the Club’s 2nd XI this week as he continues to build match fitness, while Tim Bresnan returns to the squad following a period of rest.
13-man squad to face Nottinghamshire CCC.
Jonny Tattersall (WK)
David Willey ©