Harry Brook believes he has improved in “every area” since he burst onto the scene with a maiden career century in Yorkshire’s memorable win at Essex in 2018.
Brook, 23-years-old, has been one of county cricket’s standout batters so far in 2022.
His 512 runs from three LV= Insurance County Championship matches, including two hundreds and three fifties, puts him in the top five leading scorers across both divisions.
It is form which has also put him in serious contention for an England Test call this summer.
Brook’s next outing comes against Essex at Chelmsford, a game starting tomorrow at the venue where he posted his first of six Championship hundreds to date in 2018.
On May 5, 2018, Brook posted a sensational second-innings 124 after Yorkshire had been bowled out for 50 on the opening day of a game which will never be forgotten.
His innings set up a target of 238 for Essex, which they fell well short of to hand the visitors a 91-run victory.
In the build-up to this week’s trip south, Brook spoke about his memories of that game and his improvements since.
“That was a mental game, which we somehow managed to win,” he recalled. “Hopefully we can do the same again this week without being bowled out for 50!
“The way I went about that innings, I was positive and tried to put pressure on the bowlers. That’s what I’m trying to do at the minute.
“In every area. I think I’m a lot stronger, a lot more mature, technically better. I think everything has improved for me since then.”
Brook also spoke about a more relaxed attitude to his cricket, which is being helped by his love for another sport.
“I used to beat myself up a lot when I was younger if I hadn’t scored as many runs as I’d wanted,” he said. “I don’t feel I care as much now, and I’m playing without fear.
“It’s just a game of cricket, and I’m going to get out at some point.
“I’m trying not to beat myself up as much and just enjoy the game more and playing with my mates.”
Brook admits that forging that more relaxed attitude to cricket was a tricky process to master: “I’d say so,” he said.
“When I was younger, everything was about cricket – trying to be a professional cricketer and making it to the top. So, if I did fail, it was devastating and would be the worst day ever.
“Now, there’s bigger things happening in the world, and that kind of thing comes with maturity and age.”
And asked what helps him divert some of his focus away from cricket,” he smiled: “Golf. Trying to be a pro golfer as well!”
Brook made his T20 international debut in Barbados in January, and the speculation around a Test debut – possibly as early as June against New Zealand – is increasing.
After the weekend draw against Kent at Headingley, Yorkshire coaching duo Ottis Gibson and Ali Maiden gave their opinions on the development and form of the Burley-in-Wharfedale player.
Assistant coach Maiden said: “The pleasing thing for me is his hunger to post big scores. That’s what separates the best players from the rest – they don’t get tired of scoring runs, they keep going, churn them out.
“You don’t know that when you first see them in the nets, but I’ve seen it more and more. I’ve been very impressed.”
Head coach Gibson added: “The thing I’ve noticed straightaway is his work ethic. He works really hard. When you see someone working that hard, you get a sense of satisfaction when they get the rewards.
“His rewards aren’t just coming on the back of his talent, they are coming on the back of his hard work.
“It’s not going to be long before the call comes from upstairs. We’ll wish him well, and hopefully he’ll go and make a lot of runs and have a fantastic international career.”