Ben Coad can be a significant asset to Yorkshire with the white ball as well as red, says bowling coach Rich Pyrah.
Pyrah is doubling up as the county’s Royal London Cup coach, with seamer Coad one of the experienced heads who have helped the side keep their hopes of knockout cricket firmly alive with two matches remaining in Group B.
Yorkshire are in a jam-packed, six-way fight for three qualification places ahead of group ending fixtures against Derbyshire at Chesterfield tomorrow (11am) and Glamorgan at Cardiff on Thursday.
A much-changed side has won two of their sixes matches so far, and it may be that they need to win two more to advance to the knockouts.
But that, as has been mentioned on numerous occasions over the last few weeks, is not the sole measure of success.
Player development is very high on the list of priorities, be it fast-tracking the young guns or providing a platform for older players to develop their games.
Coad, 27, falls into the latter category.
Here is a bowler who, as Pyrah puts it, is a “shoo-in” for the LV= Insurance County Championship team.
His first-class record stands at a sparkling 177 wickets in 45 matches since debuting in 2016.
But limited overs cricket is a different story given he has only played 34 times in List A (22) and T20 cricket (12) combined since debuting in 2013.
Five of those outings have come in this RL50 campaign, yielding as many wickets.
“He’s bowling nicely is Coady,” said Pyrah.
“I know he’s a bit frustrated because he hasn’t had the wickets to back that up. But I’ve said to him, ‘Going at four an over in 50-over cricket these days is as good as getting wickets’.
“He obviously hasn’t played a lot of white ball cricket.
“But we changed Coady to get him to run in harder and bowl harder a few years back, and it’s taken his body time to get used to that.
“With him doing that, he hasn’t been able to play as much.
“That’s always the challenge with youngish seamers, that they get enough experience in all formats to develop whilst looking after them.
“He’s a shoo-in in the Championship team.
“But the fixtures have fallen pretty well for him. There’s a bit of time off after this competition before the next batch of Championship games at the end of August.
“That’s allowed him to play these games, and he’s shown his skill.
“He holds his length, doesn’t bowl many bad balls and nails his yorkers as well.
“The more he plays, the better he will get.
“I just hope his body has caught up now to enable him to play more.
“We know he’s got the skill. He could be a very good asset for us going forwards.”
Yorkshire face a Derbyshire side out of contention for the knockouts.
They have only won one of six games in this RL50 campaign, though that came last time out against Nottinghamshire on Wednesday.
They have been missing Matt Critchley, Leus du Plooy and Luis Reece to the Hundred, while captain Billy Godleman and Wayne Madsen are nursing injuries.
All-rounder Alex Hughes has been captaining a side including a host of youngsters plus the experience of former West Indies fast bowler Ravi Rampaul.
This will be their first fixture at their Queen’s Park, Chesterfield outground since Yorkshire were there for a Vitality Blast game in July 2019.