Ben Coad admits he is enjoying playing the senior role in Yorkshire’s ongoing Royal London Cup campaign, which has started in encouraging fashion.
But, saying that, the chances are that the new ball seamer would enjoy any role given to him at present as long as it involved bowling.
That is because of the Ripon star’s injury nightmare which wrecked the first half of his summer.
“It’s good to be back,” he smiles as he sits down to preview Yorkshire’s next 50-over outing against champions Glamorgan at Cardiff tomorrow (11am).
Coad has been back in action for approximately a fortnight now following a series of groin issues which started on the county’s pre-season tour of Dubai in early March.
He has played one Championship game, taking four wickets in the defeat against Hampshire at Scarborough, added to four wickets in three Royal London games.
In helping to secure two wins from three in Group B so far, his economy rate has been the most impressive thing.
In defeat against Lancashire last Thursday, he returned 1-19 from 10 overs. Then, in Sunday’s win over Worcestershire at Scarborough, he was excellent again with 1-29 from another 10 overs.
“It’s coming out alright,” he said, before explaining the injury.“I’m still a bit rusty and match fitness is needed, but it’s been pretty good considering.
“I think I’ve had some friendly conditions to help me.
“It was my right adductor, basically my right groin, and every time I got close to being back, it went again.
“I played a couple of league games and it ended up going again. It’s been about taking a bit longer this time than we had before, doing a thorough rehab on it.
“Touch wood, it’s alright at the moment.
“I’ve never had a recurring injury like that before, so it was very tough to have some trust in my own body whilst I was playing second-team cricket.
“I had a long chat with (second-team coach) Tom Smith, who obviously had a lot of injuries in his career. We just made sure we took our time.
“The first time I did it, it was on pre-season and I was just turning whilst running. But coming back, it’s been bowling that’s done it.”
Aged 28, Coad is the oldest player Yorkshire have used so far in the RL50. New captain Jonny Tattersall is closest to him at 27-years-old.
“I thought I was still quite young at 28, but then you realise you’re the oldest player out there,” he said. “I feel old!
“But it’s good to see lads coming through because there’s some serious talent in the team.
“It’s just good to try and contribute with them. I’m happy to be that senior figure, but the lads are all switched on enough to know their roles.”
The best way to describe Yorkshire’s mood at present is cautious optimism.
With four points from three games, they are sat outside the top three qualifying places in Group B.
But a win over the champions – a Glamorgan side who have won two from two so far – would put them in a great position at the halfway mark in the group stage.
“We’re not going to look too far ahead,” continued Coad. “We don’t want to put too much pressure on them (young players), so we’ll just take it one game at a time and see where we end up.”
Tomorrow’s trip to the Welsh capital brings back memories of last August’s four-run win which qualified the Vikings for the knockout stage.
In pursuit of 231, Glamorgan, who went on to win it, slipped from 180-1 in the 42nd over to 226-8. Coad contributed a crucial 1-30 from 10 overs.
“It was a great game,” he reflected. “We needed to win to get through, and they were top of the table.
“Because of the youngsters we had in the team – and still do this year – there was no fear of failure.
“We just kept pushing to the end, and everyone thought, ‘We can still win this’ even though they were 120-0. We just kept fighting to the end.
“We had a slow start last year. I think we lost two of the first four and then had a great finish.
“But the way we’ve started, everyone is performing, which is a great thing.
“There’s no reason why we can’t keep going. I wouldn’t be surprised to see us make it through again. But, like I say, I’m not going to say that we’re going to win it. We’ll just take each game as it comes.”
Glamorgan are missing only two players because of the Hundred – seamers Michael Hogan and Timm van der Gugten.
Captained by batter Kiran Carlson, they will include veteran South Africa batter Colin Ingram as their overseas player plus former Yorkshire batters Sam Northeast and Billy Root. They have beaten Derbyshire and Kent so far.
Fin Bean, Dom Bess, Ben Cliff, Ben Coad, Harry Duke (W), Will Fraine, George Hill, Will Luxton, Tom Loten, Mathew Revis, Jack Shutt, Harry Sullivan, Jonny Tattersall ©, Matthew Waite.