George Hill is aiming to use this winter to progress his skills with the ball in order to make himself into more of a genuine all-rounder.
Yorkshire’s young player of the year is aiming to give Ottis Gibson and his coaching team more options when it comes to team selection.
Hill, who turns 22 in January, scored two hundreds in an encouraging haul of 729 runs in the LV= Insurance County Championship, adding 20 wickets with his skilful medium pacers.
The ex-England Under 19s vice captain added a third hundred in the Royal London Cup.
His standout performances were 151 not out in the Championship draw at Northampton in April, 131 in the June defeat at Hampshire in the same competition and 130 in the 50-over win over Worcestershire at Scarborough in August.
With the ball, he took 6-26 in the September Roses draw at Old Trafford, though his contributions were thwarted by a mid-season broken toe, forcing him to play the best part of two months as a specialist batter.
“I think it’s been a mixed summer for me,” said the Keighley-born star.
“At the start of the year, if you’d have given me the numbers I’ve got, I’d have taken it. But to have got the two hundreds early ish, it’s been a bit frustrating not to have got more than I have.
“I’ve got so many twenties and thirties and didn’t push on.
“But I’ve had a lot of fun, and there’s been a lot of learnings.
?“I’m still quite young, so the main thing is figuring out what I need to work on and having a really progressive winter.”
Coach Gibson said: “I think George has had a good season. He’s got over 600 runs and 20-odd wickets. But he will look at the amount of opportunities he’s missed with the bat.
“If we are going to play winning cricket, more players have got to make winning contributions. We will work hard as a coaching staff with him, and I’m sure he’ll get there.”
Rewind 12 or 13 months and Hill’s plan of a winter trip to play grade cricket in Australia was thwarted by the continuation of worldwide Coronavirus issues.
Now, in theory, he could revive that plan. But it is not at the forefront of his mind: “I think I’m going to stay in England, work on things and then maybe go away after Christmas,” he said. “We’ll have to see.
“To work towards becoming a genuine fourth seamer is the main aim this winter – to be more 50/50 with the ball and the bat.
“This winter is about getting stronger and putting on a yard and then honing in on my skills.
“I need to be more consistent and think like a bowler rather than running up and thinking, ‘I’m just a batter having a bit of fun’. I need to flip that mindset around.
“That then gives the coaches some more options with selection – to play an extra batter if they want, or a second spinner.”