By Graham Hardcastle, Paul Dyson and Jonathan Doidge.

Dom Bess, halfway through a four-game loan spell, has settled in quickly at Yorkshire, but he admits it feels strange to be challenging his permanent employers towards the top of Division One.

The 21-year-old two-time England Test off-spinner was struggling for game time with Somerset and had to look further afield for first-team cricket.

And the White Rose were quick on the uptake, bringing him to Emerald Headingley for a quartet of Championship fixtures against Kent, Hampshire, Essex and Surrey.

So far, Bess has taken four wickets in two games, the win at Kent and last week’s draw against Hampshire at Headingley. Anthony McGrath’s Essex visit the same venue from Monday.

“It’s actually come out really nicely, and I’ve been really consistent,” said Bess, behind Jack Leach in the pecking order at Somerset. “For me, it’s different being the number one spinner. My role here has been more about control. If I can pick up a couple of wickets, great.

“The move has definitely come at the right time for me.

“I’ve been struggling for game time, so I was very fortunate that Yorkshire said ‘Yes’. The ballance of the side also gives me the opportunity to bat in that seven or eight role.”

“I think it’s been a really good move, and I’ve loved it so far.”

Bess is Jack Brooks’ new landlord in Taunton, but he only briefly sought his advice about the move: “You know the character he’s is, but as long as he keeps his room tidy I don’t mind!” he quipped. “He had only good things to say about Yorkshire.”

White Rose coach Andrew Gale describes Bess “as a perfect fit for us at this moment”.

“Josh (Poysden) has done well in one-day cricket, but for the balance of the team we need someone coming in at eight. Dom can. He also gives us control with the ball,” said Gale.

“I’ve been in touch with his agent for a while to see how things are going at Somerset because he wants to prove himself. He’s an England spinner and doesn’t want to be playing second-team cricket.”

Although seam has dominated Yorkshire’s last two matches, Bess was particularly impressive late on day four against Hampshire on Thursday as the hosts made a last gasp attempt for victory.

He returned 2-24 from 13 overs, including bowling Ian Holland through the gate with one which turned sharply out of the rough.

As things stand Bess is due to return to Taunton after Yorkshire’s clash with Surrey at Guildford through next week, but Gale does not hide from the fact that he would be keen to extend the deal – even make it permanent.

“I’d love to sign him, but we’ll just see,” he admitted.

Bess is understandably not thinking too much beyond the next fortnight.

“I’ve still got another year at Somerset after this, and a lot of things can happen quickly,” he added. “I’ll just see how it plays out.

“After these few games, Andy Hurry and Martyn Moxon (the two directors of cricket) will come together and discuss whether they want to extend it.

“My focus is to just do as well as I can for Yorkshire in this short time and keep pushing them right up to the top. I sounds quite strange for me to say, but we need to challenge (leaders) Somerset.”

While third-placed Yorkshire are unbeaten with two wins and two draws, Essex are fourth with two wins, a loss and a draw. The gap is four points between the two.

Team news

13-man squad to face Essex at Emerald Headingley

Yorks squad: Patterson c, Ballance, Bess, Brook, Coad, Fraine, Kohler-Cadmore, Leaning, Lyth, Olivier, Pillans, Tattersall w, Willey.

The thoughts of Graham Hardcastle…

The forecast may be a touch unsettled again this week, but we will avoid a repeat of last season’s opening week washout when a late winter deluge of rain rendered Headingley unplayable for a clash with the 2017 county champions.

Now, Yorkshire sit third and Essex fourth after four games of 2019, with the gap between the two four points.

Essex beat Kent at Chelmsford last week as Sir Alastair Cook fell 10 runs short of posting two centuries in a first-class match for the first time in his career. South African off-spinner Simon Harmer then claimed eight wickets on the final day. Yorkshire will have to be wary of their capabilities, as they will Australian overseas seamer Peter Siddle.

While there is loads of time left in the season, a win for either side will really give them a leg up and boost confidence that they can challenge Hampshire and Somerset at the top of Division One.

Duanne Olivier and Ben Coad versus Sir Alastair is the standout individual battle I’m most looking forward to watching.

But, aside from that, it has all the makings of another interesting week.

Let’s hope for similar fireworks to those we saw at Chelmsford last May when Yorkshire were bowled out for 50 in the first innings and recovered to win.

The thoughts of Jonathan Doidge…

Sadly, the weather spoiled what could well have been a third championship win in four outings for Yorkshire last week. Andrew Gale’s men again failed to fully fire at the outset, but worked themselves back into contention and finished the game in the ascendancy. If they can get day one right a bit more often, then there is plenty to be optimistic about as we move forward.

Gale’s one-time Yorkshire team mate is back in town this week as coach Anthony McGrath will attempt to mastermind a win for Essex at his former stomping ground. That he can call upon the services of the great Sir Alastair Cook, who arrives in tip-top form, is undoubtedly a major boost to the visitors. Champions two years ago, the boys from Chelmsford are collectively a class act, with the likes of Aussie Test bowler Peter Siddle also among their number, and it seems imperative that the Tykes get off to a better start this time.

If aerial conditions are like last week, then batting will not be easy, despite the excellent quality of the pitch, and patience will be a key asset for batsmen. Hopefully, the weather will play a less significant role and good cricket a greater one, as we prepare for another mouthwatering championship clash.

As ever, you will be able to hear the full ball-by-ball call with me via the BBC sport app and website.

Yorkshire’s County Championship Statisitcs

Match statistics

  • Essex have beaten Yorkshire only twice at Headingley in the County Championship – in 1960 and 1984.
  • In 2017 Essex did the double over Yorkshire. The only other previous season when this happened was in 1897.
  • The 2018 match would have been the first time the two counties had met in a Division One match at Headingley but as it was abandoned without a ball being bowled that honour now goes to 2019’s game.
  • Yorkshire’s last win over Essex at Headingley was in 2004.
  • In 2005 Essex scored 622 for eight declared at Headingley. Yorkshire’s highest total against Essex is 555 for one declared at Leyton in 1932 and they have passed 500 on five other occasions against these opponents but never at Headingley.
  • Essex is one of only two counties, Somerset being the other, who have scored 600 against Yorkshire without their opponents ever reaching 600 in reply.

Specsavers County Championship Division One table

Specsavers County Championship Division One statistics

Potential milestones

Potential batting milestones in Yorkshire v Essex on 3rd Jun 2019

  • RN ten Doeschate needs 11 runs to reach 10500 runs in First-class matches
  • PM Siddle needs 12 runs to reach 3000 runs in First-class matches
  • TT Bresnan needs 21 runs to reach 6500 runs in First-class matches
  • AU Rashid needs 33 runs to reach 2000 runs in First-class matches at Leeds
  • RS Bopara needs 37 runs to reach 500 runs in First-class matches against Yorkshire
  • A Lyth needs 86 runs to reach 500 runs in First-class matches against Essex
  • T Kohler-Cadmore needs 102 runs to reach 500 runs in First-class matches at Leeds
  • A Lyth needs 106 runs to reach 3500 runs in First-class matches at Leeds
  • JA Leaning needs 117 runs to reach 3000 runs in First-class matches
  • TT Bresnan needs 122 runs to reach 2000 runs in First-class matches at Leeds
  • BO Coad needs 141 runs to reach 500 runs in First-class matches
  • JA Porter needs 147 runs to reach 500 runs in First-class matches
  • T Westley needs 147 runs to reach 9500 runs in First-class matches
  • JM Bairstow needs 148 runs to reach 11500 runs in First-class matches

Potential bowling milestones in Yorkshire v Essex on 3rd Jun 2019

  • MT Coles needs 1 wickets to reach 350 wickets in First-class matches
  • TT Bresnan needs 2 wickets to reach 550 wickets in First-class matches
  • AU Rashid needs 8 wickets to reach 150 wickets in First-class matches at Leeds
  • JE Root needs 10 wickets to reach 50 wickets in First-class matches
  • JA Porter needs 10 wickets to reach 300 wickets in First-class matches

The opposition

  • Head coach: Anthony McGrath
  • Captain: Ryan ten Doeschate
  • 2018: CC 3rd in Div 1, RL50 QF, T20 7th in South

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