Bouncebackability. It was a phrase coined in the early 2000s in another sport, football. It was all the craze in the media at one stage and even ended up in the English Dictionary.

‘The capacity to recover quickly from a setback’. 

The phrase has gone out of vogue now, though it perfectly fits for Ottis Gibson’s Yorkshire ahead of Friday’s Vitality County Championship clash with Derbyshire at Headingley (11am).

Last weekend, Yorkshire were beaten by six wickets inside three days by Middlesex at Lord’s. A first defeat of the season came after back-to-back draws to open 2024.

It was a jolt, no doubt, but with 11 games to go it was by no means a definitive one. 

In the final reckoning come the end of September, it may even be looked back on as a key moment – one which focused minds on the task of achieving promotion. Coach Gibson certainly hopes so.

“I absolutely hate losing, so a defeat is a defeat and it stings,” said the former West Indies fast bowler. “But hopefully this will give everybody the sort of understanding that it’s going to be a tough season. If we want to win, we have to play better. 

Ottis Gibson

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Ottis Gibson is looking for a response to Yorkshire’s Lord’s defeat.

“The one thing I will stress to the players, on paper we have a fantastic team. But I’ve never seen a game played on paper before. The game is played out on grass. When you go out on the grass, you have to be ready to play.

“The second division is tough to get out of. There are a lot of good teams. Everyone has the same aims to try and get into the first division. There are going to be no easy games here. 

“Of course, people say we’re the favourites. Everybody will be wanting to make sure that they play their best cricket against us. We have to be ready for that.

“We have the resources – a squad capable of achieving our goals. We just have to make sure those guys perform to their best.”

Yorkshire did play some good cricket down at Lord’s, but unfortunately it was only in fits and starts and mainly with the ball. With the bat, George Hill’s second-innings 75 was the only half-century in the match for the county. 

Jordan Thompson claimed a first-innings five-wicket haul on his return to the team having been left out the week before against Gloucestershire at Bristol.

But his new ball partner Ben Coad stood out at the Home of Cricket, claiming 4-59 from 20 overs in the first innings and 2-20 from 14 in the second.

The 30-year-old has claimed six wickets in each of Yorkshire’s last two matches.

Ben Coad

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ Ben Coad is the joint leading wicket-taker in Division Two.

His haul of 13 in three matches is the joint-best in Division Two.

And when you see him in action one week with the Kookaburra ball and the next with the Dukes, getting results in different ways with both, it reminds you just what a special seam bowling talent Yorkshire have at their disposal. 

“With the new ball in his hand, whether it’s a Kookaburra or a Dukes, I don’t think there’s anybody better in the whole country,” said Gibson.

“We’re happy to have him in our team, and we just need to keep him fit because he’s bowling over after over at the moment. He’s bowled the most overs in almost every game we’ve played so far, and we just have to look after him.”

Defeat at Lord’s took Yorkshire from second top in the embryonic Division Two table to second from the bottom. 

Both Yorkshire and Derbyshire sit level on 28 points, this weekend’s visitors to Headingley having drawn each of their three games.

They failed to get on the field at all during the opening round against Gloucestershire at home before drawing at Glamorgan and then, most recently, at home to Leicestershire. They were behind in each of the two games they have played.

George Hill

Picture by Allan McKenzie/ George Hill during Yorkshire’s win over Derbyshire at Scarborough last September.

Captain David Lloyd is amongst a number of domestic recruits for 2024. Fellow batter Aneurin Donald and ex-England white ball seamer Pat Brown have signed and played in the Championship so far. They have also signed left-arm spinner Jack Morley on a season-long loan from Lancashire, though he is yet to feature.

Derbyshire have also recruited New Zealand international seamer Blair Tickner on an overseas deal for the first half of the summer.

Yorkshire completed the double over Derbyshire last summer, winning matches at Chesterfield and then Scarborough.

Gibson also confirmed that there has yet been no change to the availability of England duo Harry Brook and Joe Root. 

Brook will play in the next two matches, both at home, before resuming international duties ahead of June’s T20 World Cup in the USA and the Caribbean. 

Root will also play the next two games against Derbyshire and Glamorgan. He is then set to rest for the trip to face Sussex at Hove on May 20 before returning facing Northamptonshire at Wantage Road immediately before the start of the Vitality Blast.

He will also play in the first half of the Blast before England’s Test summer begins in early July.

Joe Root

Picture by Dan Mullan/Getty Images. Joe Root in action for Yorkshire this season.

Unfortunately, Brook and Root struggled at Lord’s, the latter’s second-innings 32 their only double-figure score combined across the two innings.

“They’re not happy, of course not, that they didn’t perform well at Middlesex. But you don’t become a bad player overnight,” added Gibson. 

“They’re enjoying being here with us.”

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