Harry Brook is hoping practice makes perfect for Yorkshire’s batters as the new county season fast approaches.
Brook posted 100 on what was effectively the opening day of Yorkshire’s three-day friendly against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities at Weetwood following no play due to a wet outfield on Saturday.
He was joined in reaching three figures by Will Fraine, who made an unbeaten 123, while Dom Bess made 84 as the county closed on 402-7.
Brook referenced Yorkshire’s lack of first-innings runs in recent years as an area which must improve if they are to battle for the LV= Insurance County Championship title in 2022.
But the signs are good. This was Brook’s second hundred of pre-season after one in Dubai, while George Hill also hit one in an intra-squad game at Bradford last month. Adam Lyth and Dawid Malan have also been amongst the runs on home soil over the last fortnight.
“There’s plenty of competition for places at the minute and people putting their name in the hat for selection for the first game at Gloucester,” said Brook.
“You only do that by scoring runs. So for a number of us to be doing it is a good sign.
“It’s something we’ve lacked in the past, trying to post big first-innings scores. We’ve known it’s an area which has needed improving, and hopefully we can take all this practice into the season.
“We’ve had a lot of chats about it because it hasn’t clicked.
“But George (Hill) looks settled alongside Lythy at the top of the order – he looks really good.
“If you lose early wickets and you’ve got your middle to late order coming in against the new ball, it’s always tricky to try and recover from there.
“So hopefully those two can score plenty of runs and set things up.”
Asked for his theory on why things haven’t clicked for the batting group in recent seasons, he said: “I think we have to be more positive.
“When you do go through a bad patch, as we have done the last few years – not scoring as many runs as we’ve wanted, you kind of go a bit negative and try and defend a bit more.
“We have to be positive. If the ball’s there to hit it, we have to hit it. Even if it’s that first ball, whack it for four. It’s our job to score runs.
“That’s what we’ve done quite well this pre-season. But we need to take it into the first few games.”
Brook has scored three centuries in the last six weeks or so – one in the Pakistan Super League for Lahore, one on Yorkshire’s pre-season tour against Gloucester and this one against the students.
“It’s something I’ve worked on, trying to be positive when it’s swinging and seaming more, which is obviously what it does here. So I’m very happy with today,” he added.