Joe Root has urged Yorkshire’s youngsters to seize the chance to shine in this summer’s Vitality Blast competition.
England’s Test captain admits he is excited by the opportunity to help guide the Vikings’ up and comers as they fill the gaps vacated by absent internationals Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid and David Willey.
Root, not involved in England’s ongoing T20 series against Pakistan, is waiting on selection for the forthcoming limited overs series against Australia before knowing exactly how many matches he will play for Yorkshire.
But he should at least be available for the Bank Holiday double header against Derbyshire at Emerald Headingley tomorrow (SUNDAY) and Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on Monday – both 2pm starts and streamed live and free to all online.
The 29-year-old would have played against Notts at Headingley on Thursday night, only for rain to prevent a ball being bowled.
“You look at a number of senior figureheads within this team who would normally play and they’re with the England white ball squads at the moment,” said Root.
“That gives opportunity to some younger lads to come and hopefully gain a lot of experience – to get some game time under their belts and get out there in the pressure of a T20 environment and learn on job a little bit.
“That’s the best way of doing it. Get out there and put yourself under pressure in different scenarios and showcase what you’re all about whether it’s with the bat at the death trying to win a game or with ball in hand setting the tone first up.
“There’s definitely great opportunities for young guys to go in and make a name for themselves in this team and format.”
Adam Lyth was the only player aged above 30 – he is 32 – named in Yorkshire’s squad for Thursday’s opener against Notts, and there is not expected to be too much change ahead of the upcoming couple of fixtures.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore will continue to deputise for absent skipper Willey, the latter who is keen to create a fearless and attacking brand of cricket as the county bids to shed itself of years of underachievement in this format.
That new fearless and attacking brand actually takes us back to when Root was a young pup making his own way in the game.
In the summer of 2012, shortly before he made his international debut in India, Yorkshire reached Finals Day at Cardiff, only to be beaten in the final by Hampshire.
Still, they qualified for the Champions League event in South Africa that October, reached the main group stage and faced Indian Premier League powerhouses Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
“That was a really exciting time,” recalled Root.
“It was when Farby (Paul Farbrace) and Dizzy (Jason Gillespie) were in charge, and we were told to go out and play with real freedom – take the bowlers on and put pressure on opposition when you could.
“We had some experienced players and international superstars in David Miller and Mitchell Starc, who were invaluable.
“The way they contributed on the field and in the dressing room was great for young guys coming into the team like myself and Gary (Ballance), Azeem Rafiq at the time.
“We found we learnt a huge amount from that.
“I suppose at the other end of it now, as someone who’s had a bit of international experience coming into a group of young players, you want to give back to those guys as much as you can.
“Hopefully that will give them a bit of a kick-start as they set out on a very exciting journey.”
New captain Willey could miss as many as eight out of 10 North Group games due to England commitments.
But when he is finally able to get his teeth stuck into the role, Root is expecting big things from the ex-Northamptonshire man.
He added: “Dave will draw on his experiences. He’s a had a lot of success wherever he’s been, and he thinks very well about the game.
“He will be a very good captain for Yorkshire in this format.
“Speaking to Andrew Gale and having sat in on a few meetings, the message to the guys on how to approach the game is very clear.
“And it’s exactly that, ‘Go and be fearless, take on the opposition and back yourself out there in high pressure situations. Go and win the game’.”
Derbyshire also had their opening night clash with Leicestershire washed out on Thursday night.
Andrew Gale has named a 14-man squad for the visit of Derbyshire. Joe Root has been included provisionally, dependent on ECB clearance, and Ben Coad also returns to the squad.
Harry Brook, Ben Coad, Matthew Fisher, Will Fraine, George Hill, Tom Kohler-Cadmore ©, Adam Lyth, Mat Pillans, Josh Poysden, Matthew Revis, Joe Root, Jack Shutt, Jonny Tattersall (w), Jordan Thompson.
- Derbyshire have completed the double over Yorkshire in each of the last three seasons.
- Derbyshire’s highest total in a T20 match in Yorkshire is 222 for five, made in 2010, but Yorkshire have never passed 200 in a home match against the same opponents.
- Batsmen from each of the two counties (Ian Harvey 109 for Yorkshire in 2005 and Greg Smith 100 not out for Derbyshire in 2008) have scored a century in T20 matches in Yorkshire but none have done so in Derbyshire.
You can watch the action live from Emerald Headingley as Yorkshire Cricket TV’s enhanced four camera coverage gets you close to the action. The coverage, which will include replays of the key moments, will feature BBC Radio Leeds’ commentary and will go live from 1:30pm. Simply click on the below link.