Steve Patterson is hoping Adam Lyth can finish the season with another big score, as the Yorkshire captain admits the opener’s runs are central to his team’s future success in the Specsavers County Championship.
Lyth hit a superb 134 not out in the second innings of Yorkshire’s rain-affected draw against Hampshire at Emerald Headingley last week.
It was a result which leaves them needing a maximum of only two points from their season-ending clash with Worcestershire at New Road, starting tomorrow (MONDAY).
Lyth’s century against Hampshire was his first of a frustrating personal season which has seen him score only 609 runs from 12 appearances.
Patterson said: “Lythy’s worked really hard this year. He’s done well in white ball cricket, but in the four-day stuff hasn’t had the performances and the results that he’s capable of and would have liked.
“He’s been frustrated, and it’s been frustrating to see because we know how good a player he is when he gets it right.
“He’s not had much luck or fortune.
“But I was delighted for him last week. He played really well, and it’s good for his confidence going into Worcester and next season as well.
“He is crucial to us. When he does well, we do well.
“It’s vital for our future success that he performs.
“If you look at the years we’ve had success, 2014 and 2015 – even the two years either side when we challenged – when Lythy scores heavily, we’re always in the game.
“We’re not going to be 30 or 40 for four too often if he plays well.
“He’s done it for 10 years now. It’s just a shame his last year and a half hasn’t quite worked out.”
In Lyth’s three campaigns when he has topped 1,000 Championship runs, Yorkshire have either won the Division One title or challenged,
In 2010, he scored 1,509 and they finished third, as they did in 2016 when he posted 1,133. In 2014 when the White Rose won the title, he racked up 1,489.
Lyth is not the only batsman to show promise during the last three weeks when Yorkshire have shown improvement as a team to draw two and win one.
Both Gary Ballance and Tom Kohler-Cadmore have scored centuries.
“It’s been a tough year with upheaval at the club for various reasons,” said Patterson.
“We have some high-class players. It’s just a shame they haven’t been able to show that quality throughout the season as much as we’d have liked.”
“But, as you’ve seen this last few weeks, we have got some talent.
“If we can get the likes of Lythy, Tom, Gary and Harry Brook performing to the level they’re capable of next year, we know we can beat anyone.”
On the situation in the table, Patterson added: “There is this two points thing, but my message to the lads is ‘Go and enjoy the game’. It always is. If we enjoy ourselves, we have more chance of performing well.
“We feel like we’ve played some good cricket these last couple of weeks.
“It was a great win against Lancs in a crucial game, and we backed it up with another strong performance against Hampshire.
“It was frustrating with the weather because we felt we could have pushed for a win had we played on Friday.
“The pleasing thing was that we didn’t go into that game desperate for a win to keep us up.
“We go into Worcester with confidence.”