Andrew Gale has urged Dom Bess to relax into his work with Yorkshire as he prepares to make his second debut for the county this weekend.
The England off-spinning all-rounder will face the students of Durham MCC Universities in a three-day friendly at Emerald Headingley, starting on Saturday.
Bess hasn’t featured in any of the friendlies during the last fortnight following his Test commitments in Sri Lanka and India finished early last month, but he needs a run out ahead of Thursday’s LV= Insurance County Championship home opener against Glamorgan.
The 23-year-old was left out of the second and third Tests against India, finishing the winter with 17 wickets in the three appearances he made.
He claimed a five-wicket haul in the first Test win over Sri Lanka at Galle in January before adding four-fors in the second Test of that series and then the opening Test against India at Chennai.
Many people have suggested he could have bowled better, yet he still returned results before seeing Jack Leach and Moeen Ali preferred in his place.
“Dom’s in a good place,” said Yorkshire coach Gale, of the county’s new permanent signing following his two loan spells in 2019.
“He was obviously disappointed with how things went (on tour). He had a tough time of it.
“I thought he was a bit harshly treated.
“But, as I’ve said to him, there’s no pressure on him coming back here. He’s coming into a team where, predominantly in April, seam will do a lot of the work anyway.
“His runs will be important to us, of course. But he’s under no pressure and has nothing to prove.
“The main thing is that I want him to enjoy his cricket and enjoy being around our group. If he does that, I’m sure he will be absolutely fine.”
Also making their first appearances of pre-season will be overseas fast bowler Duanne Olivier following his arrival from South Africa – a journey which saw him have to spend 20 days in quarantine in the Maldives and Leeds – and opener Adam Lyth having recovered from a calf injury.
“Duanne has turned up in great condition,” added Gale. “And Lythy is back to full fitness.
“But we might wrap a few of the others in cotton wool ahead of the first game against Glamorgan.”
The trio of aforementioned players are all high profile current or former internationals who will need to perform well this summer if Yorkshire are going to live up to their pre-season billing as genuine title contenders.
However, to win Championships, the younger players also need to elevate their games.
And captain Steve Patterson has highlighted two in particular to keep an eye on in 2021.
“You look at the big names with the bat, we’ve got Gary Ballance, Rooty at the start of the year and we’ve signed Dawid Malan recently,” he said.
“But, for me, it’s a big year for Harry Brook. I really like where he’s at with his cricket.
“I’ve always known the amount of ability he has, but I think he’s matured a bit over the last couple of years.
“Similarly, on the bowling front, with Matthew Fisher. He seems to have been around forever having started at 15.
“Touch wood, he’s fully fit as we sit here right now. We just need a bit of fortune for him. If we can keep him fit for the full year, I think it will be a fantastic year for him.
“I think they are two who will stand up and show how good they really are.”
13-man squad to take on Durham MCCU
Ben Birkhead (W)
Jonny Tattersall (W) ©