By Guy Williams, The Cricket Paper

Paul Grayson, 47, Yorkshire’s experienced new batting coach, says he knows he’ll have been a success in the 2019 season if two of the county’s former England batsmen, Gary Ballance and Adam Lyth, regain their England places.

Grayson, a Yorkshire bat between 1990-1995 before moving to Essex where he spent almost 20 years as a player and coach, finishing in 2015, set out clearly his ambitions on his return to Emerald Headingley.

“My message is: it’s hundreds that win you games and when you get a good first innings score you’re in the game. That’s what we’ve got to work on. Take fine players like Gary Ballance and Adam Lyth. There’s no reason why they can’t get back into the England team.

“I know Adam’s last two seasons have been inconsistent (averaging 25.22 and 27.33) but he’s got to believe he has the ability to score big runs and if he does so, why shouldn’t he play for England again?,” explains Grayson, head coach at Essex from 2007 to 2015, who, as a batting all-rounder, appeared in 181 first class matches, scoring more than 8,000 runs, including 16 centuries.

He also played in 246 List A games in his professional career.

While Yorkshire’s bowling attack has been competitive in 2017 and 2018, the batting has frequently let them down, with the exception of Ballance who’s scored six hundreds.

So the urgency to appoint a batting coach to bring out the best in Lyth, Jack Leaning, Harry Brook, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Jonny Tattersall was recognised by Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon and First XI Coach Andrew Gale.

“I’ve unfinished business at Yorkshire because I don’t think I fulfilled my potential here as a batsman,” he added. “I can’t wave a magic wand and predict we’re going to get 500 every first innings, but what I can do is to encourage self-belief and work on the mental side of the game so that we’re competitive by getting good first innings batting points.

“What’s appealing about Yorkshire is the opportunity to work with talented young batsmen like Brook, Kohler-Cadmore and Will Fraine from Durham University, whom I recommended to Martyn.

“Yorkshire need to get our love back for red-ball cricket and I know it’s difficult in the Championship when the ball is nipping around. The other issue is I need to show batsmen how they should adjust to the different demands of red and white ball cricket.

“That’s not easy and some players find it difficult to play all formats. But I believe the talent is here and I’m sure I can make a difference and while Yorkshire supporters demand success now, you have to be patient with young players. It doesn’t happen overnight and it’ll take a couple of years to see their real potential.

“My job isn’t just about batting. It’s a father-figure role. You’ve got to know when to take the pressure off batsmen…to know when a player needs to get away from cricket or needs a chat or a game of golf.”

Grayson’s job starts in March once he’s left his current coaching position at Durham University.

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