Four-wicket star Matthew Fisher showed that “the best pre-season I’ve ever had” has done the trick as he helped Yorkshire into a strong position at the end of day one against Gloucestershire at Bristol.
Fisher starred on the opening day of Yorkshire’s LV= Insurance County Championship campaign with 4-19 and was the standout bowler as Gloucestershire were bowled out for 227.
Haris Rauf also claimed three wickets on debut and was the architect of a post tea collapse of 6-60 as the hosts slipped from 167-4.
Fisher has just returned from England duty in the West Indies, making his Test debut in Barbados. And today, the 24-year-old looked every inch an England bowler during his 14.1 overs.
“I said to Ian Blackwell (umpire) out there that it’s the best pre-season I’ve ever had because I’ve been bowling outside in the heat and I’ve not come back worried about whether this or that hurts because my workloads are up,” he said. “I’ve got through overs.
“I could just stand at the top of my mark and let it come out, let the ball do the talking.”
On the day’s play, Fisher said: “We’re buzzing.
“At lunch and tea, two down and four down, I think we thought we might be out there all day. But we got off and the lads have started really well with the bat.
“I think we bowled well without bowling our best, which is a positive.”
While Fisher was the day’s standout bowler, Pakistan quick Rauf blew the game open with three wickets in 13 balls after tea as Gloucester slipped from a position of strength into trouble.
“I was really impressed with him, and he’s a good signing,” said Fisher on the back of Rauf’s 3-81 from 16 overs.
“He bowled good lengths and areas. There were a few bad balls, but there were quite a lot which went to third-man.
“When you sign someone like that who bowls really good pace, you’re going to have natural spells where he probably goes for a few and spells where he picks up three or four wickets.
“It’s just how we use him, and naturally we will learn that.”
And on the benefits of his England Test debut, Fisher added: “I’ve always been a young player who’s dreamt of playing for England. That’s on the top of your sheet. And it’s about, ‘How do I get there?’
“People who know me know that I put in loads of hard work, but deep down I’m quite an anxious over-thinker. With the injuries I’ve been through, that naturally causes anxiety.
“But, to be brutally honest, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”