Ben Coad is hoping to play a significant role in Yorkshire’s bid to become a force in white ball cricket as well as red in the coming seasons, saying of his limited overs bowling: “I back myself 100 percent.”
Coad has a long standing reputation as one of the very best new ball seamers in English first-class cricket. His record of 236 first-class wickets at an average of 19.96 adds weight to that theory.
But the 29-year-old’s exposure to the shorter formats has been significantly limited in recent seasons, especially in the Vitality Blast. That has been down to both managing workloads and selection.
However, in the last three seasons of the ongoing Metro Bank One-Day Cup, the Studley Royal product has been exceptional, claiming 19 wickets in 17 appearances with a particularly notable economy rate of conceding just 4.18 runs per over.
His best return in the last three seasons was his 3-16 from 10 overs in the opening day defeat against Kent at Scarborough last week. His overs were bowled straight through with the new ball.
Ahead of Sunday’s trip to Chelmsford to face Essex Eagles (11am), the Vikings star said: “I always back myself in the white ball as well as the red ball.
“We have got a very good T20 side, so I understand why I’m not selected in those teams. But when given the chance, I think I do deliver.
“I personally don’t think there’s a lot of difference between bowling in the Championship to the 50-over competition, especially at the top with the new ball anyway.
“There are slight differences, yes. But I know my job up top is to take wickets. That means bowling an aggressive sort of length.
“It’s not always going to be like that Kent game. I know I have to use my other skills.
“I feel like I know my strengths. The more you play, the more you pick up on little cues as to when and where they’re going to try and hit you. I feel like I can pick up on those things now.
“I know what my skills are at the death and in the middle overs.”
With List A cricket in England, you can almost split it into two eras. Pre the Hundred, which started in 2021, when the counties had the majority of their senior players to pick from and during the Hundred when teams are shorn of those said players and have to go with youth.
In the first year of the latter era, so to speak – 2021 – Yorkshire qualified for the knockout stages of the MB50 and were beaten in a quarter-final eliminator by Essex at Chelmsford.
Coad played in that game, as did Will Fraine, Harry Duke, Will Luxton, George Hill, Matthew Revis and Dom Bess – all of whom are in contention to play on Sunday.
And Coad, who is currently managing a knee injury which may require intervention in the winter, believes the development of those players – and Yorkshire’s 50-over team as a result – is heading in the right direction.
“I just think it’s through playing that they get to learn the game,” he said.
“Players like Hilly and Rev have played a lot of cricket now, and you back them.
“You could give them the excuse of age for making a mistake here and there, but that’s not something they can fall back on now. They should be performing, and they are performing. It’s great to see.
“That’s come through all the experience they’ve had in T20 and red ball. They’ve played a lot of first-team cricket, and there are a lot of high-performers in this team.
“I know we’re missing a few – Tommo, Lythy, Fish. But I see that as a good thing because it means the younger lads are getting more opportunities to develop.
“It’s obviously a hard county to play for when we have a full squad, but it’s good to see them playing and growing.”
Yorkshire head to Chelmsford to play their fourth game of eight in the group stage. They have so far lost one and two rained off.
They sit seventh in the table with two points. The top three teams in each of the two groups qualify for the knockouts, and Yorkshire are three points behind third-placed Nottinghamshire.
The Essex clash is the first of five remaining games in the next 10 days to wrap up the group stage.
“I can’t remember exactly what you need to be points wise to qualify from the last couple of years, but we know that if we lose a couple early on in the next week we’re fighting a losing battle,” said Coad.
“Equally, if we win a couple, we’re in a good spot.
“We want to start really well. It’s always tough going down to Essex, but with this squad I back us to get the job done.
“It’s a different pitch down there, and they know how to play on it. But we’ve played enough there in recent years and know what’s right to do.”
Essex currently sit sixth with a win, two defeats and a No Result from four games.
Not only have Anthony McGrath’s side been hit by Hundred absentees, they have also struggled with injuries of late.
But they did win at home against Middlesex last night. They defended a target of 299 to win by three runs. Middlesex fell from 290-7 to 295 all out in the penultimate over.
They are captained by Tom Westley and include overseas duo Simon Harmer and Beau Webster.