Matthew Fisher has highlighted his brilliant 4-19 in the season opening win over Gloucestershire at Bristol at the start of 2022 as “one of my best and most consistent spells in first-class cricket”.

Fisher, 26, has reflected fondly on his early contribution to a Vitality County Championship win which came in coach Ottis Gibson’s first game in charge.

The White Rose quick returns to the Nevil Road ground for the first time since that searing spell tomorrow, when Yorkshire face Glos in their second Division Two fixture of the ongoing campaign (11am start). Joe Root is available for Yorkshire. 

That first-innings burst a couple of years ago came hot on the heels of Sheriff Hutton Bridge star Fisher’s Test Match debut for England against the West Indies in Barbados in March 2022.

In fact, it was his very next match less than a month later.

“Yeah, that Gloucestershire game came off the back of the Test tour when I was bowling against top players day in, day out,” he recalled.

“I was interested to see how much being part of that tour had improved me. It was the first innings after that trip, and I felt I bowled brilliantly.

“My margin for error had gone so small because it had to be bowling at Root, Stokes and Bairstow and all the others in the nets for the best part of a month.

Picture by Gareth Copley/Getty Images. Matthew Fisher on Test debut for England against the West Indies in Barbados, March 2022.

“It definitely was one of my best and most consistent spells in first-class cricket.”

Fisher’s bowling has developed further since then. 

He may not have played another Test Match, but he remains an integral member of the England Lions set-up and has been on overseas tours to Sri Lanka and India during the last couple of winters. 

He is part of an exciting Yorkshire bowling group, spearheading it alongside the likes of Ben Coad, Matt Milnes and Jordan Thompson. 

All four played in the weather-affected opening round draw against Leicestershire at Headingley.

“We’ve got a lot of options and a lot of different options,” continued Fisher.

“We all have different things in our armoury. We could all bowl with the new ball, our skills are good there. Then, as the innings goes on, we provide different things.

“Hopefully we can show what we’re made of.

Glos squad

“I’ve always said that when we have that pack together, my role could potentially change in the middle. I can go a bit shorter. 

“A strength of mine is my bouncer, so when Coady, Milnesy and Tommo – any of our bowlers – are hitting that line and length, I could potentially do something different at the other end. 

“Rev did that job a lot last year, but I can too.

“When it’s not doing much, we could save my overs for the middle. 

“I do enjoy that side of it, and I think I’ve improved it with playing cricket away from home in the winter. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about getting wickets when it’s not doing much.

“It was like that on my Test tour (in the West Indies) and with the Lions in Sri Lanka and India. It did a bit early morning in India this winter with the new ball, but after that it didn’t do anything.

“I’ve had to adapt my game from trying to pitch it up and look for swing in England to getting batters out in different ways, be it short ball or playing with the crease more.

“I feel I’m more rounded as a bowler, and I’m looking forward to finding different ways to help us get 20 wickets.”

Matthew Fisher and Matt Milnes

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Matt Milnes (l) and Matthew Fisher are part of an exciting Yorkshire bowling line-up.

Yorkshire’s bowling group has not only got quality but depth as the county get stuck into 2024. 

“I look at young players like Cliffy and Leechy, and they’ve played a bit now,” said Fisher.

“I remember the first few games I played, I learnt so much. I’m still learning now. But the amount you learn in those first few games compared to playing second-team or club cricket is massive.

“That’s not to put anything less on playing at those levels, Academy as well, but once you have a taste of first-class cricket you realise your margins are a bit smaller. 

“You don’t need to do too much different than hit line and length and the ball will do something in England now and again. 

“They’re learning that, and hopefully they can get another 4-6 games this year and develop.

“We want to go up, but we want to go up and challenge for Division One when we do. The more experience we have and the more games everyone has under their belt, it just makes the bowling cartel stronger.”

And whoever takes the field at Bristol and beyond, they must be “relentless” believes the York-born quick.

Matthew Fisher

Picture by John Heald. Matthew Fisher during his first-innings five-wicket haul against Derbyshire at Chesterfield last summer.

“As we know, it’s about passing on the baton after every spell and trying to be relentless and not letting a team off,” he continued. “That’s what we will pride ourselves on.

“That was the one thing we didn’t do last year – we weren’t penetrative enough to take those 20 wickets. I know we had a lot of rain and stuff, but there were still opportunities to take them and we didn’t.”

Either side of that aforementioned four-wicket burst at Bristol two years ago, Fisher has taken a quartet of first-class five-wicket hauls added to one in T20 cricket.

The latest came last year against Derbyshire at Chesterfield when Yorkshire won a thriller by three wickets. He claimed 28 wickets in all in nine Division Two matches.

“I bowled ok without being great last year,” he added. 

“I’m really wanting to improve on that. 

“I helped win that one game against Derbyshire at Chesterfield. This year, I’d like to make that a game or two more.”

Gloucestershire had their season opener against Derbyshire at Derby abandoned without a ball bowled last weekend, the same fate Yorkshire and Glos suffered at Bristol last April.

Mark Alleyne has taken over as their new coach, while Graeme van Buuren continues as captain. Australian batter Cameron Bancroft is their overseas player.

Joe Root

Picture by Gareth Copley/Getty Images. Joe Root returns from England duty to play at Bristol.

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