Yorkshire coach Ottis Gibson has hailed the influence of in-form Adam Lyth on his fledging opening partner Fin Bean as the pair develop a formidable alliance at the top of the county’s order in Championship cricket.
Lyth and Bean have enjoyed quite the month against the red ball.
In Yorkshire’s last four games – all draws – 35-year-old Lyth has posted scores of 55, 79, 115 and 111. Bean, aged 21, has also posted 114, 38, 135, 45 and 46.
They have recorded superb partnerships of 73, 177, 94 and 113 in that time.
The 113 came in the heavily rain-affected draw against Durham at Scarborough, which finished earlier today – the county’s seventh draw in 10 matches.
A wet outfield put paid to day four, with Gibson speaking shortly after umpires O’Shaughnessy and Shanmugam abandoned the match at their 1pm inspection.
He said: “With Lythy, when we sat down in the winter and I was throwing balls to him in the indoor school, I said to him, ‘When you get to 34 or 35, you have to start to think about what will your legacy be when you leave? You have to start to think about being a mentor for Finlay Bean’.
“That’s why we have Beany opening the batting. Even when Shan (Masood) is here, he opens with Lythy.
“They’ve started to develop that relationship, and you can see it really blossoming with the way they’re playing in the middle.
“That’s what we’re trying to do throughout the squad. Who can we put this guy next to so that it will help him in his development?
“With regards to the bowling, when Coad and Fisher play, our bowling attack looks completely different.
“It is trying to manage them and keep them fit so that they’re on the park together.
“When they are, they can help someone like a Jordan Thompson even or a Dom Leech or a Ben Cliff, who may feature in September for us.
“It’s not just about young guys going out and doing it by themselves. It’s putting young guys next to senior pros who can guide them like Malcolm Marshall guided me when I was a youngster.”
Yorkshire claimed seven points from the match to Durham’s eight.
But the most striking statistic is that Gibson’s Yorkshire have now lost 1,521 overs in Championship cricket this season – almost 16 full days of play.
“The frustration continues,” said the coach. “I don’t know what other words I can use to describe another rain-affected game. It’s disappointing.
“Yesterday was wet, and we didn’t get any play. I saw a video of the pitch and the outfield last night, and I came this morning thinking, ‘We’re not going to get anything at all’. Then it looked a lot better than I anticipated when I came this morning.
“But there were still quite a few wet patches, and the umpires deemed that it’s not drying quick enough to get a game and be safe for the players.”
Durham would have resumed today on 106-1 in reply to 340 all out, the game not getting anywhere close to completing its first innings.
Lyth with 111 was Yorkshire’s standout performer – his second century in as many seasons after hitting 183 against Surrey here last July.
“I thought we played well,” said Gibson.
“I don’t feel we bowled as well with the new ball. They scored far too quickly for my liking in the conditions that we were bowling in.
“But Lythy got another hundred. He thinks we should be playing all our games at Scarborough so he can get a hundred every game!
“We enjoy coming to Scarborough. It’s one of the best pitches in the country, and Yorkshire now has the two best pitches in the country – Headingley and Scarborough.
“Batters like to bat here and bowlers see the ball carrying through nicely. Unfortunately we can’t flick a switch and sort the weather out.”
Meanwhile, this afternoon, Yorkshire learnt their points deductions as part of the Cricket Discipline Committee sanctions.
The county have been deducted 48 points in the Championship for this season and now sit bottom of Division Two on 50 points after 10 games – 63 behind Sussex with four games remaining in September.
There is also a retrospective four-point deduction to this year’s Vitality Blast, but Yorkshire will start next week’s Metro Bank One-Day Cup campaign with no deduction and on a level playing field to the other 17 counties.
Gibson added: “At least next year we know where we stand. We have four games left in the Championship this season, and that’s 96 points that we can play for. We’ll try and win the next four games. That’s all we’re trying to do – win every game we play.”