Darren Gough believes cricket lovers the world over will not be able to take their eyes off Harry Brook’s career as the Yorkshire star continues his remarkable progression.
Brook, aged 24, scored a fabulous 100 not out whilst opening the batting for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League on Friday.
It was his 14th senior century of what remains a developing career, including four of them in Test Matches for England since debuting last August.
Brook’s IPL hundred came off only 55 balls and included 12 fours and three sixes, helping SRH to a high-scoring win over the Kolkata Knight Riders.
“He’s a great young lad, a great player, and I’m really pleased for him. He just plays with such confidence,” said Gough, Yorkshire’s managing director of cricket.
“He’s willing to fit anywhere into the side. If you’d have asked him a couple of years ago, ‘Do you want to open the batting?’, he’d have probably said, ‘It’s not gone well for me before, I’m not sure’.
“Now, he’d be happy anywhere given his confidence. That’s been a shift in mindset.
“He got burnt a bit opening in the Championship before dropping down and five was his place. But you only have to look at the way he’s playing, he could bat anywhere.
“His game’s gone to another level in the last 12 months.”
Brook’s ton came off the back of scores of 13, 3 and 13 in his opening three IPL games. It was his second appearance opening the batting having started the competition batting at four and then five.
“I’d like to know the thinking behind him going in first in the IPL, actually,” continued Gough. “It’s an interesting one.
“He got out to spin in the first two games, and I wonder whether Brian (Lara, Sunrisers head coach) said, ‘I’m not so sure against spin’.
“But let me assure you, that kid can play spin. He hits it long.
“He’s now got his hundred, 100 not out, and it was brilliant to watch. There were some fantastic shots. But we’re used to seeing it at Yorkshire, aren’t we. What a player.”
Gough was asked where he rates the Burley-in-Wharfedale product amongst the best young players he has seen, and the former England fast bowler described Brook as a trailblazer in the world game at present.
“For me, he’s first player of his generation who plays the same way in all formats. He’s the first of his kind,” he said.
“We’ve always had T20 players who play a T20 way, but they play differently when they play Test Cricket. But Brooky’s the first player of his generation who is playing that brand of cricket across all formats.
“Look at Jos Buttler. When he came into Tests, he’d play it like you’d expect to see in Test Cricket. He didn’t play with the freedom you see in the white ball games.
“Brooky plays all formats exactly the same way across the board.
“We’ve seen many a young player play with a 360 degree game in the shorter formats. He’s the first to be doing it in Tests as well.
“If he can keep it up, his career is going to make for ridiculously good viewing. It’ll be fun to watch.
“And we’ve got him for the next five years at Yorkshire around his other commitments.”