Andrew Gale reckons Yorkshire have struck lucky with Lockie.
The signing of New Zealand overseas fast bowler Lockie Ferguson for the ongoing Vitality Blast has already brought significant profit both on and off the field, says the Vikings head coach.
The Auckland quick has taken six wickets in four North Group games so far, three of which the White Rose county have won.
He was absolutely exceptional in Tuesday’s 18-run win over Leicestershire at Emerald Headingley with figures of 2-28 in four overs.
He was by far the most successful bowler across both teams in a match which saw an aggregate of 462 runs scored, equalling the T20 Blast record.
But his success has not just been limited to on the field.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Durham at Emerald Headingley (6.30pm), Gale said: “I think Lockie has been brilliant. He’s been great around the group off the pitch.
“He knows his game inside out and is very experienced.
“He bowls with good pace, and he’s teaching the younger lads a thing or two.
“You only had to look at the fields that were set at Worcester. They were very much fields like Lockie sets.
“You can see him talking to them before the game about their plans, and he’s been a great addition for us.”
And Gale pointed to Tuesday’s Leicester game as a prime example of why the 30-year-old has also been so valuable on the field.
“There are numerous games which see a side needing 30 off two overs to win, and we’ve struggled to close games out in the past,” he said.
“That’s why we looked at bringing Lockie in. He just shut the game down in that penultimate over, conceding only eight runs.”
Durham visit Emerald Headingley tomorrow having made a bright start to the North Group.
They host Lancashire at Emirates Riverside tonight (Thursday) bidding for their third win in four games.
The first of their victories came against Yorkshire at the Riverside last Friday when they recovered from 95-6 to post 181-8 before defending their total.
They were beaten by champions Nottinghamshire at home on Tuesday.
There will be changes to Yorkshire’s team for this fixture.
Jonny Bairstow will miss the match with an ankle injury sustained at Worcester, while Adil Rashid is being rested ahead of England duty.
Dawid Malan will also miss the fixture due to an Achilles injury he has been playing through recently.
With Bairstow unavailable, it could be that Tom Kohler-Cadmore retains the wicketkeeping gloves he took with confidence at New Road.
Kohler-Cadmore has gone down the Jonny Tattersall route during the winter and the early stages of the summer in a bid to make him a more saleable asset for the increasing number of T20 and T10 domestic leagues, including the Hundred.
He is signed up to play for the Headingley based Northern Superchargers in the Hundred, and Josh Simpson is their only frontline keeper at present.
Prior to the start of the Blast, Gale was planning to use either Jonny Tattersall or Harry Duke when Bairstow disappeared to England duty.
He talked down the likelihood of Kohler-Cadmore keeping. But, having seen him in action at New Road, he has been made to think again.
“It does (change my mind),” said Gale.
“I’m not so stubborn to say that Tom’s not going to keep wicket again, which I have said before.
“He impressed and might be an option. We’ll see.
“It just gives us more balance to our team. When you lose Jonny, you lose two players in one. If you can replace that with a batsman in the top four who keeps, it gives you great options.”
Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan and Adil Rashid are unavailable for the game and have been replaced in the squad by George Hill, Dominic Leech and Josh Poysden. Tom Kohler-Cadmore is set to take the gloves after keeping against Worcestershire Rapids last night.
14-man squad to take on Durham
Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Wicketkeeper)
David Willey (Captain)
A look at the opposition – Durham
Coach: James Franklin
Captain: Cameron Bancroft
Last Year’s Performance: Fourth (North Group)
2020 Leading Runscorer: Alex Lees (365, 52.14)
2020 Leading Wicket Takers: Matty Potts (13, 18.07), Paul Coughlin (13, 16.23)
Overseas players: Cameron Bancroft (Australia – whole tournament), David Bedingham (South Africa – whole tournament)
Key man: Cameron Bancroft – Durham’s batting beyond the powerplay has been an issue for two seasons. Bancroft should be able to use his expansive strokeplay to maintain the pace of the innings.
Flies under the radar: Graham Clark – Clark has been quietly impressive at the top of the order. Clark provides a spark from the off, notching two fifties last term with a strike rate of 171.71.
Best Player Under 24: Matty Potts – Potts broke his own career-best figures in the Blast three times in 2020. He was accurate and deadly bowling in the powerplay. Potts will be a key player this term.
Blast expectations: Durham fell agonisingly short of the quarter-finals for the second Blast campaign in a row. James Franklin’s side received outstanding contributions from individuals, notably Lees, Clark, Potts, Coughlin and Ben Raine. However, in the crunch moments, Durham were not able to rise to the occasion. There is not a great deal of turnover in the squad, losing former captain Nathan Rimmington, Scott Steel and Farhaan Berhardien, none of whom excelled last term.
Bancroft should provide experience and the ability to clear the fence in the middle order that has been sorely lacking. David Bedingham will also be richer for his experience last year. The batting ranks look solid, while a core of bowlers of Potts, Coughlin and Brydon Carse at their peak is an exciting prospect. Look for a quarter-final push from Durham in the 2021 season.
The Key Statistics
• Yorkshire have won four of their last five T20 matches against Durham at Headingley.
• This is Yorkshire’s 36th T20 match against Durham – the most they have played against any county.
• Durham have never scored over 200 in a T20 match in Yorkshire but the home side made 223 for six at Headingley in 2016.
• Durham have never been dismissed for less than 100 in a T20 match in Yorkshire but the home side were all out for 95 at Headingley in 2014.
• Jonny Bairstow scored 102 not out at Chester-le-Street in 2014 but no Durham batsman has made a century against Yorkshire, home or away.
• Yorkshire’s best bowling figures in this series, home or away, are five for 11 by Jack Shutt at Chester-le-Street in 2019 but no Durham bowler has ever taken five wickets in an innings against Yorkshire, the best being four for 25 by Mark Wood on finals day at Edgbaston in 2016.
• Richard Pyrah (five for 16) and Jack Shutt (five for 11) are the only bowlers to take five wickets in an innings in T20 matches between these two counties. The best for Durham is four for 25 by Mark Wood in the semi-final at Edgbaston in 2016.
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.