Yorkshire captain Steve Patterson says his side’s batting simply has to improve if they are to challenge the top teams in the country for Championship silverware this summer.

The White Rose county are in danger of losing their unbeaten start to 2021 (three wins, three draws).

In the ongoing Roses match at Emirates Old Trafford, Lancashire are 350-6 replying to Yorkshire’s first-innings 159, a total which could have been far worse given they were 40-7.

Yorkshire’s day one batting issues are not an isolated incident, unfortunately: “I think four out of the seven games this year we’ve been bowled out in two sessions,” said the skipper.

Yorkshire actually bowled well on day two on an unresponsive pitch, controlling Lancashire’s run-rate as they advanced from 95-1 in 31 overs to 350-6 in 127.

But opener Keaton Jennings scored a determined 114 and Luke Wells and Josh Bohannon 60 and 47 not out in similar fashion.

Patterson said: “It was an horrendous start for us (with the bat). But, fair play to them, they’ve played good cricket throughout and have not let us back in the game. We now find ourselves right up against it.

“I thought Keaton Jennings and Luke Wells showed us, in a sense, how to bat on a good surface. When you get the opportunity, make it count.

“They didn’t score at a particularly quick rate at any stage, but they made it hard work for us and ground us down.

“I can’t question the lads character and effort today. It’s a good surface and hard to get wickets on.

“To go at two and a half an over for the first 120 overs is a good effort and a testament to the bowlers skills.

“But, at the end of the day, we can’t keep expecting the bowlers to pull us out of trouble.

“We’re playing against a good side who have made us pay.

“On a good surface, you cannot be 40-7 and expect to dominate the game. It just doesn’t happen in first-class cricket.

“We’ll come back tomorrow and have the same work ethic with the ball.

“They are about 200 ahead. And when the time comes to bat again, we have to learn lessons from the way Jennings and Wells played – leave the ball well, defend well and accumulate when you get the opportunity.

“We are going to have to bat for four sessions minimum to see if we can salvage something from the game. We’ve got to see if we’re capable of doing that.”

Asked why the batting continues to stutter, Patterson said: “I’m not 100 percent sure.

“There comes a stage where you have to ask the question,
‘Is it lack of confidence, lack of ability or the pitches we’re playing on?’

“I don’t know the answer. But if we want to be the high end of the table and get into the top group to compete and win the Championship, we have to be better.

“The lads are trying everything. Their work ethic is top drawer and they’re talking with the coaches.

“But, when the pressure is on in a Roses game, you have to stand up and perform. And we’re not doing that. We’re making poor decisions.

“It’s not good enough for the standards the club expects, the supporters expect and I expect as captain.

“We have to find a way to be better or find different personnel who can come in and do the job instead. It’s as simple as that.

“I’ve kind of said this when I’ve spoken to you guys in the last few weeks, we can show as much character as we want, but there will be a time when we come unstuck.

“We’ll work our socks off for the next two days and see what we can do. But for the first two, we’ve been well and truly outplayed.”

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