Yorkshire’s programme of pre-season friendly cricket drew to a close at Weetwood yesterday, with Ottis Gibson admitting: “We have ticked a lot of boxes.”
The county have played eight days of cricket both in Dubai and England against Gloucestershire, Durham and Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities, added to a two-day intra-squad fixture.
Head coach Gibson has seen players find form with bat and ball as well as Ben Coad, for example, step up his recovery from a groin strain by bowling an important six-over spell today.
Leeds/Bradford batted on a weather-shortened day three at Weetwood, replying to Yorkshire’s 402-7 declared with 152-8.
Gibson said: “We lost the first day here, which set us back a bit. But the guys batted really well yesterday and most people got two spells with the ball in the limited time we had available.
“So I’m happy with where we are right now.
“It’s good that Will Fraine got a hundred here, as did Harry Brook with another after the one he got in Dubai. Dawid Malan looks good as well.
“Dom Leech also continues to improve with every spell he bowls. His understanding of what we want from him is becoming clearer.
“We have ticked a lot of boxes. It’s just a bit of a shame that we have to sit and wait for one more week for our first game because we feel like we’re ready now.”
The signs are encouraging for Coad that he will be in contention for next Thursday’s Championship opener against Gloucestershire at Bristol.
“He came through ok,” said Gibson.
“We always knew that he was a week to 10 days behind everybody else because he got injured on the first day in Dubai.
“We’ll build him up this week and see how close we can get him to being ready for Bristol.
“We will get Matt Fisher back for next week, and he’ll add some more quality to our bowling.”
England seamer Fisher was present at Weetwood for the final day of action, though he did not take part. Instead, he watched Jordan Thompson claim three wickets and Tom Loten two.
Those came on the back of the aforementioned Sunday centuries for Brook and Fraine.
Coaches and players up and down the land often say that time in the middle is more important than performance at this time of year.
But there is no doubt that runs and wickets certainly don’t hurt.
“Building confidence is very important,” said Gibson, who will change things up in training this week by concentrating on some white ball preparation ahead of May’s start to the Vitality Blast.
“As we drive away from here, there will be a lot of guys who’ve had their confidence increased.
“Some guys won’t have performed as well as they’d have liked either. But our job over the next few days is to build their confidence up.”
He added: “On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, we’re going to do some white ball preparation.
“First of all we’’re going to have a real good discussion about our white ball cricket. Then we’ll have some practice – some range hitting, that kind of thing.
“A lot of the stuff we’ll do around that will allow the guys to express themselves and have some fun with it.
“What I do with every format is to make sure we clarify our roles.
“We’ve said already that we’d love to be in the mix for Finals Day. So we need to make sure we know what we need to do to get there.”