“We’re expecting a good competitive game and hopefully better weather.”
Coach Ottis Gibson is not asking for much down at Hove this week as his side bids to get back on the horse following a hugely frustrating few days in Bristol last week.
A complete washout against Gloucestershire at the Seat Unique Stadium, where not a ball was bowled due to wet weather and the fixture was cancelled on the third morning, delayed Yorkshire’s response to their opening round LV= Insurance County Championship defeat to Leicestershire at Headingley.
But it is safe to assume that coach Gibson’s wish for better weather will come true when they tackle Sussex at the 1st Central County Ground, starting on Thursday (11am).
It is also safe to assume Yorkshire will be faced with a good competitive game against a Sussex side coached by Paul Farbrace, captained by Cheteshwar Pujara and including England Test seamer Ollie Robinson, who is set for his first county appearance of the summer.
All three are well known to the Headingley faithful.
“If you look at Leicestershire, two catches and we’d have won that game,” said Gibson. “At Gloucestershire, there’s nothing we can do about the weather.
“Now we go to Hove with the intention of trying to get in the ascendancy as quickly as possible and then being in a position to win on day three or day four.”
Sussex, who did not have a fixture last week, won their opening game of the summer in impressive fashion, beating Durham at Hove by two wickets.
In reply to Durham’s 376, they replied with 335 and conceded a lead of 41. They then bowled their visitors out for 189 second time around to set up a victory target of 231 midway through the third day.
Australian overseas seamer Nathan McAndrew claimed five wickets in the first innings before India Test linchpin Pujara followed that with 115. Highly-rated opener Tom Haines later led the chase with 64.
Former Yorkshire seamer Robinson was not made available for that fixture by England, but he is in line to play against the county he represented in 2013 and 2014.
That would set up a potential battle between Robinson and Dawid Malan, one a star of the Test game and another of the white ball game.
Malan hit 132 in the first innings of Yorkshire’s defeat against Leicestershire and last time Yorkshire faced Sussex in the Championship – at Headingley in 2021 – he scored a superb 199 in a victory.
“We’re lucky to have Mala, and we’re hoping we’ll have him a lot more this year,” said Gibson. “He makes our batting line-up stronger and gives it a real solidity in that middle order.
“We know he’s a fantastic player, probably the best batter in county cricket outside of those guys who are playing in Tests for England.”
As players come and go in Yorkshire’s middle order – Shai Hope plays the final game of his short overseas spell with the county and Pakistan left-hander Saud Shakeel debuts – Gibson said of Malan: “He’s the glue that binds our batting together.
“He just loves batting and being out there in the middle scoring runs.
“Like I said, I think he’s the best batter in England outside of those currently playing Test cricket. And from my point of view, I don’t think his England career is or should be over as a red ball batter.”
Yorkshire completed the double over Sussex in 2021, when the Championship was played as a conference based competition on the back of Coronavirus.
The first came when Dom Bess claimed seven wickets, including a second-innings 6-53, in a 48-run success at Hove in late April. That was followed by an innings and 30-run success at Headingley in June.