The students of Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities visit Headingley tomorrow (11am) for what will be Yorkshire’s final pre-season exam.
The county have played matches at home and abroad – in South Africa, to be precise – over the last few weeks as they build up to Thursday’s LV= Insurance County Championship home opener against Leicestershire.
And stand-in captain Jonny Tattersall wants them to finish with a bang.
“It will be a three-day game over two innings, so a chance to do the job twice with the ball hopefully and make some good runs with the bat. Time in the middle is valuable at this stage,” said the wicketkeeper-batter.
“I think the batters have got a lot out of what we’ve done so far.
“There’s not been too many who haven’t had a decent chunk of time in the middle. Again, Saturday will be a good test for us to get out there and do that.
“We’re working towards that winning mentality and how we want to do that, and it will be key that it’s a four-innings game over three days.
“It’s effectively our first chance to put a marker down for how we want to go through the season.”
Tattersall played in Wednesday’s 45-over red ball friendly against Durham at Headingley, a re-formatted game after Tuesday’s first day was washed out by rain.
Yorkshire made 222-9 in reply to Durham’s 189-4, with a number of encouraging performances.
“I think Wednesday was our best day’s work that we’ve had in pre-season – just the way the lads applied themselves to what we were doing and how we wanted to go about it,” said Tattersall.
“Obviously, execution can be better, but we’re still working on that and trying to get firing on all cylinders. Hopefully when we get to next Thursday, we’ll be there.
“It was great to get out there. The lads got some time good time in the middle and played really well. The lads were getting some overs in as well.
“We tried to work the bowlers up to get a couple of spells, to more like what they’d be doing in a day’s play.
“It’s difficult when you’ve only got 45 overs and the first day of the season is 96.
“It was nice to get back out there in familiar territory, and we have this game to come against Leeds/Bradford.”
Whereas the Durham game was played behind closed doors, Headingley’s gates will be open this weekend to members and supporters with free entry for all.
It may be that both teams play more than 11 players, as happened earlier in the week.
Matthew Fisher could feature at some point as he recovers from a broken hand suffered on England Lions duty in Sri Lanka in February.
If so, the likelihood is that Fisher would just bowl some overs and not field.
It is hoped the York-born fast bowler will be fully fit for the second round Division Two clash with Gloucestershire at Bristol on April 13.
If that is the case, Fisher’s last three Championship appearances will all have been against Gloucestershire. Last season, a stress fracture of the back limited him to the first game of the season and the last – both against the Bristol based county.