Andrew Gale has paid tribute to 400-wicket star Steve Patterson as the captain prepares to return to action at Scarborough this weekend.
Patterson, the 35-year-old seamer, has sat out the majority of the T20 Blast, playing only one North Group game.
But he will be back in the thick of the action when the Specsavers County Championship resumes against Nottinghamshire at North Marine Road, starting on Sunday.
Patterson is in his first full season as captain and last month took the 400th wicket of his first-class career during the victory over pre-game leaders Somerset at Emerald Headingley.
Coach Gale said: “I’ve got the ultimate admiration for Patto because he squeezes every ounce of ability out of his body that he can do.
“He perhaps wouldn’t have expected himself to get 400 first-class wickets at the start of his career, but he’s a smart cricketer who knows his limitations. And he sticks to them.
“He just bowls the same delivery with the red ball over and over and over again, and the batsman usually cracks before he does. He’s very skilful.
“Also, particularly this season, his captaincy has been absolutely outstanding.
“He’s made some really big decisions with a young team, and the boys follow him on the pitch.”
Gale, a two-time Championship winning captain in 2014 and 2015, continued: “He’s a very different captain to me. He’s not as emotional as I was and is a bit more calculated.
“We probably suit each other in terms of a captain and coach relationship in that respect.
“He’s a bright guy who knows the game inside out and is a good speaker in the dressing room.
“He would never ask anyone to do a job that he wouldn’t do himself.”
Miserly with the ball and useful down the order with the bat, Patterson has become somewhat of a talismanic figure for the White Rose in Championship cricket.
This season, he has claimed 30 wickets with a best of 5-81 and added 204 runs, including one fifty.
Gale said: “I think Patto’s role has slightly changed of late.
“He’s probably getting a few more wickets this year because he’s been bowling with the new ball a bit more and is bowling at the tail as well.
“He’s previously been in the shadows of some strike bowlers in front of him in the past, the likes of Ryan Sidebottom and Jack Brooks.
“Before that, it would be the likes of Darren Gough, who would always bowl at the tail when you can pick up a couple of cheaper wickets. Against Somerset, in our last game, he picked up a few at the end.”
Yorkshire head into the clash with Notts third in the Division One table with four wins from 10 games, including a win over Surrey at Scarborough at the start of last month.
They are 38 points behind leaders Essex and have an outside title chance. Notts, meanwhile, are rooted to the foot of the table with seven defeats from 10 and need something special to avoid relegation.
“It’s a big game for us,” said Gale. “We want to get back on track (after the disappointments of T20).
“We’ve played some good cricket in the Championship.
“It’s been our most reliable format this year, and we want to go to Scarborough and do ourselves justice and play the cricket we know we can do.
“We certainly haven’t done that in the other two formats.”
Gary Ballance will have a fitness test on Saturday having struggled with a hamstring injury over the last few weeks, but it is hoped the left-hander should be fit to play.
Spinners Josh Poysden (head), Adil Rashid (shoulder) and James Logan (back) have been ruled out for the rest of the season.
Seamer Matthew Fisher (dislocated shoulder/broken thumb), who has been easing back into his bowling work, is around two weeks away from a return to competitive cricket.
Steven Patterson ©
Jonny Tattersall (WK)
- Nottinghamshire have won only five games in Yorkshire (four at Headingley and one at Scarborough) since the official County Championship started in 1890.
- Yorkshire’s highest total at Scarborough against Nottinghamshire is 572 for eight declared in 2013 but that for their opponents is 443, also scored in 2013.
- The highest individual innings by a Yorkshire batsman against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough is 272 by Andrew Gale in 2013 but the highest for their opponents at the same venue is 189 by David Hussey in 2009.
- Yorkshire’s highest partnership for any wicket against Nottinghamshire at any venue took place at Scarborough and is 297 for the fifth wicket by Andrew Gale (272) and Gary Ballance (141) made in 2013.
- Of Yorkshire’s 15 hat-tricks in the County Championship since the Second World War six have been taken against Nottinghamshire.
Specsavers County Championship Division One table
Specsavers County Championship Division One statistics
Yorkshire’s County Championship Statistics
Director of cricket: Mick Newell, Head coach: Peter Moores
Captain: Steven Mullaney (CC/RL50), Dan Christian (T20)
2018: CC 6th in Div 1, RL50 QF, T20 QF