Harry Brook is delighted to see Joe Root back in Yorkshire’s Vitality Blast ranks, with the youngster crediting England’s Test captain as a significant influence on his rapidly developing batting game in T20 cricket.
Root, not in England’s current T20 plans, has returned to domestic cricket and is likely to be available for the next three or four North Group fixtures.
The first of those is against Derbyshire Falcons at Emerald Headingley tomorrow (2.30pm).
Brook says Root’s low risk style of batting in 20-over cricket is something he is trying to bring into his own game in order to add to one fifty in 29 career appearances.
And the signs are good. He has started this season impressively with scores of 24, 41, 48 not out and 22.
Last season, Root scored 278 runs in five Blast appearances for the Vikings, including four scores in the sixties.
In the final game of 2020, against Derbyshire at Headingley, Root and Brook combined to help chase down a 168 target.
They came together at 80-4 in the 12th over and shared 91 unbroken. Root finished 60 not out and Brook was unbeaten on 50.
Root played the steadying hand and allowed Brook to be more expansive.
When talking about how his batting in T20 is developing, 22-year-old Brook said: “I’m trying to take the lower risk options with high reward, obviously sticking to my strengths as much as possible.
“You can hit the ball in the air as much as you like, but that’s going to get you out more often than not if you don’t manage to clear the ropes.
“I’m trying to keep it on the floor as much as possible and hit the gaps.
“Then, at the end, I can go out and have a lot of freedom and try to clear the ropes.
“I try and model parts of my game on Rooty. He does that low risk, high reward thing perfectly.
“Watch most of his innings last year, and I reckon he hardly a hit a ball in the air and yet scored loads of runs! He was absolutely brilliant.
“He’s phenomenal to have in the team and a great leader. We can’t wait to have him back with us.”
Three of four games in the North Group last night were washed out, including Yorkshire against Durham at Headingley. Derbyshire were involved in the only game to take place, losing by two runs chasing 153 in 15 overs at champions Nottinghamshire.
It means Birmingham are top of the group with nine points from six games, while Yorkshire second with seven from five courtesy of a better net run-rate than Durham in third and Notts in fourth. Both also have seven points from five games.
Lancashire are fifth and one place outside the top four with seven points from six games.
Derbyshire have won two and lost four and desperately need to win to get themselves back into contention for the quarter-finals.
They have employed New Zealand-born Dutch international fast bowler Logan van Beek as their overseas player.
The Falcons had signed Australian wicketkeeper batsman Ben McDermott and fast bowler Billy Stanlake before international duty and injury ruined their plans.
Star batsman Wayne Madsen has been ruled out of the entire group stage with a hamstring injury.
England Test Match captain Joe Root returns to the squad and will captain the Yorkshire Vikings, with David Willey away on England duty.
14-man squad to take on Derbyshire Falcons
Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Wicketkeeper)
Joe Root (Captain)
A look at the opposition – Derbyshire Falcons
Coach: Dominic Cork
Captain: Billy Godleman
Last Year’s Performance: Sixth (North Group)
2020 Leading Runscorer: Wayne Madsen (192, 24.00)
2020 Leading Wicket Takers: Dustin Melton (4, 31.00), Alex Hughes (4, 41.00), Matt Critchley (4, 58.75)
Overseas players: Logan van Beek (Netherlands – whole tournament).
Flies under the radar: Alex Hughes – Rarely grabs the headlines but the all-rounder is Derbyshire’s leading T20 wicket-taker with 53 victims.
Best Player Under 24: Sam Conners – The 22-year-old fast bowler only made his T20 bow last year but his ability to swing the ball at pace could see him emerge in 2021.
Blast expectations: After reaching Finals Day in 2019, the Falcons failed to get off the ground last summer, winning only one game and losing seven although all their matches were played away as Derby was used by the ECB as a bio-secure ground. McDermott has the potential to revive their fortunes and be one of the stars of the tournament while Madsen and Critchley will also be central to Derbyshire’s hopes of challenging in a tough group. The loss of Australian fast bowler Billy Stanlake is a blow but his replacement, the 30-year-old van Beek, played his part in the Falcons’ run to Edgbaston two years ago, claiming nine wickets and returning figures of four for 17 against Yorkshire.
The Key Statistics
• In 2020 Yorkshire completed the double over Derbyshire but each of the previous three seasons had seen the double being completed against them.
• Both counties have passed the 200-mark once each in Yorkshire in matches in this series: Derbyshire’s highest total is 222 for five, made at Headingley in 2010 and Yorkshire scored 220 for five on the same ground in 2020.
• 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.
• In 2015 Matthew Fisher took five for 22 for Yorkshire at Headingley but no Derbyshire bowler has ever taken five wickets in a match in this series, its best being four for nine by Charl Langeveldt in 2008 also at Headingley.
• Yorkshire’s Matthew Fisher took five for 22 in a T20 match against Derbyshire at Headingley but no one has taken five wickets in an innings for Derbyshire against Yorkshire, home or away, the best being four for nine by Charl Langeveldt at Headingley in 2008.
HOW TO FOLLOW
You can keep up to date with proceedings via the live stream that will be available on yorkshireccc.com. There will also be a match blog on the website, and the clips available via the match centre. Highlights will also be available after the game.