If Gary Ballance continues his sparkling early season form, Joe Root might just have a decision to make.

Ballance’s three successive hundreds in County Championship and one-day cricket have once again reaffirmed his quality and led to whispers about another England return.

That’s all they are at the moment – whispers in the stands and within the media.
But more runs over the next couple of months will to lead to more and more talk about a Zimbabwe-born player who has even been dubbed as Yorkshire’s Ferrari from Harare on Twitter!.
Ballance, 29, may have scored four hundreds and seven fifties in his 23 Test appearances between 2014 and 2017, yet some low scores in between meant he could not nail down a place with many former players and pundits writing him off.

But not Root, who has seen first hand his county colleague’s quality.

Whilst playing in Yorkshire’s opening two Championship matches, he shared in third-wicket partnerships of 253 and 182 alongside Ballance against Nottinghamshire and Hampshire. Ballance posted scores of 101 not out and 148.

Yesterday, Ballance hit a career best 156 as the Vikings started their Royal London one-day Cup campaign with a landslide win over Leicestershire at Emerald Headingley.

Root will lead England into the Ashes this August, and he said: “You’ve got to be very careful not to write players off because you have to give guys the opportunity to go back into county cricket and perform.

“If there are things they need to work at or change to make the step up and be more consistent, then you’ve got to look at it for what it is and see if their game is in that place.

“What I see with Gary is someone who is in fine form, but making the most of it.

“He has a very good understanding of how he’s going to score his runs.

“Hopefully he can continue this throughout the season.

“You can’t ask for any more than someone to go back and churn out big runs consistently.

“It would be great to see him continue that.”

On the chances of a recall, Root said: “It’s hard to say, but all you can ask of people is for them to go back and bang out as many runs as they can and tweak little things that will hold them in good stead when and if chances arise in the future.

“There’s no reason why Gary can’t be successful in Test cricket. He’s shown that already.

“In his first 10 games, he was the second fastest to 1,000 runs.

“As I say, all you can do is play what’s in front of you. And he’s making the most of that at the moment.”

Ballance has fielded questions about England during the last two weeks and insists he is concentrating purely on enjoying his cricket with Yorkshire after a difficult summer last year.

Ballance’s career best 156 against Leicestershire yesterday underpinned Yorkshire’s recovery from 17-3 to post a record-breaking 379-7.

He shared 211 for the fourth wicket with fellow centurion Harry Brook.

The Vikings now travel to Edgbaston to face Warwickshire tomorrow (11am), the second of three North Group games in five days.

While the Yorkshire started with a win, the Bears have yet to play.

Team news

One change to the 13-man squad to face Warwickshire at Edgbaston tomorrow. All-rounder Matthew Waite comes in to contention with Ben Coad rested as First XI coach Andrew Gale looks to share the bowling workload.

Seamer Matthew Fisher, six weeks after fracturing his thumb, is closing in on a return and could play some Second XI cricket in the next week or so.

James Logan (broke thumb) is three weeks post op and is at least another 3-5 weeks away from a return to any competitive cricket.

Josh Shaw, who returned from his one-match loan period with Gloucestershire this week, picked up a quad injury and is expected to be on the sidelines for at least a month.

13-man squad to face Warwickshire.

Gary Ballance
Tim Bresnan
Harry Brook
Adam Lyth
Duanne Olivier
Steven Patterson (Captain)
Mat Pillans
Josh Poysden
Adil Rashid
Jonathan Tattersall (Wicketkeeper)
Tom Kohler-Cadmore
Matthew Waite
David Willey

Jonathan Doidge says…

It’s been some start to the season in both red and white ball! After the innings victory over Hampshire was completed last Sunday, it would have been easy to get complacent playing at home against a second division team in the Royal London One Day Cup opener on Wednesday.

Any notion of that was quickly quashed, after Leicestershire skipper Paul Horton won the toss, put the Vikings in, and reduced them to 17-3 early in the piece.

A magnificent 211-run partnership between Gary Ballance (156) and Harry Brook (103) followed, both posting career-bests in List A cricket, and after Jonny Tattersall’s quickfire 58 nudged the team up to equal its best score against full county opposition since one day cricket began.

It was over to the bowlers, who struck early and often to win by an enormous 213-runs, Mat Pillans leading the rout with a List A personal best 5-29, and both Josh Poysden and David Willey bagging two each. Super stuff.

On to Edgbaston and Warwickshire, a club who are back up in the top division in red ball cricket, and will be aiming to better last year’s disappointing exit in the final group game, when they lost to arch rivals Worcestershire in what was effectively a straight knockout. Having said that, they were very unfortunate to be in that position, having had two matches washed out, and losing only two that they actually completed.

The Bears are yet to play in this competition this term, while they are 0-1 in the championship, having lost their championship opener to Kent.

England star Chris Woakes will be a big asset to the home side, while in Henry Brooks they have an exciting young bowler. The Vikings will also need to play the experienced spinner Jeetan Patel well. The Bears are one of just five counties to have won this trophy in its current guise, in 2016, and a win against Yorkshire would be a great way to kick-start their bid to be the only club to win it twice before it is downgraded next year.

Yorkshire’s Royal London One-Day Cup statistics

Match statistics

  • Warwickshire have won all of the last eight List A games between the two sides.
  • Yorkshire’s last victory over Warwickshire in a List A game was at Headingley in 2003.
  • Warwickshire’s highest List A total against Yorkshire is 309 for three at Edgbaston in 2005 but Yorkshire’s best against Warwickshire is 274 for three at Headingley in 2003. In fact Warwickshire is the only county in the northern group which Yorkshire have yet to register a total of 300 against.
  • At Edgbaston in 1981 Bob Willis took seven for 32 and this remains the record for all teams against Yorkshire in all List A cricket. Yorkshire’s best against Warwickshire is five for 31 by Martyn Moxon at Headingley in 1991.

Milestones

Potential batting milestones in Warwickshire v Yorkshire on 19th Apr 2019

  • IR Bell needs 60 runs to reach 2500 runs in List A matches at Birmingham
  • SR Hain needs 75 runs to reach 2500 runs in List A matches
  • WMH Rhodes needs 110 runs to reach 500 runs in List A matches
  • IR Bell needs 115 runs to reach 500 runs in List A matches against Yorkshire

Potential bowling milestones in Warwickshire v Yorkshire on 19th Apr 2019

  • CR Woakes needs 10 wickets to reach 200 wickets in List A matches

The opposition

  • Sport director: Paul Farbrace, First-team coach: Jim Troughton
  • Captain: Jeetan Patel (CC/RL50), T20 TBC
  • 2018: CC Winners Div 2, RL50 4th in North, T20 6th in North

Last season’s Division Two champions’ biggest change ahead of 2019 came off the field, with former Yorkshire second-team and ex-England assistant coach Paul Farbrace joining as new sport director.

‘Farby’ replaced Ashley Giles, who has gone in the other direction to England as their new team director.

Jonathan Trott (retired), Keith Barker (Hampshire) and Boyd Rankin (released) are amongst those who have departed, while seamers Liam Norwell and Craig Miles joined from Gloucestershire.

Club legend and ex-New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel continues his overseas spell with a county who have also brought in Australian spinning all-rounder Ashton Agar for T20.

Fast bowler Henry Brookes, 19, is definitely one to watch. He could be an England star of the future. Batting all-rounder Will Rhodes is someone Yorkshire fans know plenty about. Ian Bell misses the first three months of the summer with a foot injury.

Last time out

PUJARA’S 73 NOT ENOUGH TO SEE THE WHITE ROSE CLAIM A WIN

Yorkshire suffered from a costly batting collapse as they missed the chance to win their second successive Royal London one-day Cup tie, with Warwickshire clinching the two points at Emerald Headingley.

Having elected to bat, the Vikings flew to 80-0 in the 13th over thanks to Tom Kohler-Cadmore (39) and Adam Lyth (38). But they slipped to 149-6 on the way to 247-9, with Bears off-spinner Jeetan Patel impressing for 4-33 from 10 overs.

Indian overseas batsman Che Pujara top-scored for Yorkshire with 73 off 96 balls, including seven fours. Unfortunately, nobody else made it to 40 despite good batting conditions.

Warwickshire, who have also now won one and lost one at the start of the North Group campaign, then made the chase look routine as they got home by five wickets with 4.2 overs to spare.

England hopeful Sam Hain top-scored with 102 unbeaten off 110 balls. He had hit 108 in Thursday’s defeat to Derbyshire.

Royal London One-Day Cup competition statistics

Royal London One-Day Cup standings

Spectator Guide: Warwickshire v Yorkshire Vikings

Are you visiting Edgbaston for the Royal London One-Day Cup match between Warwickshire and Yorkshire? Take a moment to read the Spectator Guide to ensure your visit is safe, enjoyable and comfortable.

The 50-over fixture on Friday 19 April will start at 11am. Tickets for this match are available to buy in advance and on the gate, while under-16s are free.

Spectator Guide

Ways to follow

You can folllow the match via our Matchday Blog on yorkshireccc.com, via our Twitter feed @yorkshireccc or by listening to ball-by-ball radio commentary courtesy of the BBC.

BBC BALLBYBALL COMMENTARY

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