Tom Kohler-Cadmore admits he is in a good place heading into the 2021 summer with Yorkshire, but the opener is refusing to get ahead of himself after runs at home and abroad in recent months.
Kohler-Cadmore scored an excellent 109 off 100 balls – retired out – during the opening morning of the county’s three-day friendly against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities at Emerald Headingley.
The 26-year-old, who also hit 56 in last week’s two-day friendly at Derby, has returned to domestic duty after a hugely productive couple of months in Abu Dhabi and Pakistan in 10 and 20-over cricket.
He scored 206 runs in six innings for Pune in the Abu Dhabi T10 League and was, for large parts, the competition’s leading run-scorer in late January and early February.
He then posted scores of 53 and 46 in four innings for Peshawar in the Pakistan Super League before Coronavirus cut that competition short.
Kohler-Cadmore was speaking on a day which saw Yorkshire amass 417-4 from 101 overs against their student opponents, with opening partner Tom Loten (84), Gary Ballance (66), Harry Brook (76) and Will Fraine (61 not out) all contributing significantly.
“I’m happy with where I’m at,” said the England Lions man.
“I’m confident because I’ve scored runs and am seeing the ball nicely and moving well.
“But it can change quickly. You can get a bad decision and then play a bad shot, and all of a sudden you’re thinking, ‘I’ve not scored a run in two weeks!’.
“Or, I could have scored three hundreds in a row and there’s England speculation.
“It’s about me staying nice and level and chilled.
“If I score a hundred or a nought a week on Thursday (opening LV= Insurance County Championship match against Glamorgan), that won’t change my approach for the following game, which is try and score off the bad balls and keep out the good ones.”
Kohler-Cadmore was punishing on a Leeds/Bradford attack who opted to bowl first upon winning the toss.
He drove serenely and was strong on the cut and pull, reaching his century off 83 balls with 20 fours and a straight six off left-arm spinner Josh Haynes.
He retired out at lunch having made the most of undercooked opposition who plugged away in excellent batting conditions at the start of a non-first-class fixture which sees both sides fielding 13 players.
“I feel a little bit sorry for the University lads because they’ve been in proper lockdown, whereas we’ve had the full winter to prepare,” said Kohler-Cadmore.
“It was only, I think, three or four weeks ago that they came under the elite sports banner so they could start training. For those guys, it’s probably been quite hard to ramp up as quickly.
“But there’s no better practice than playing in the middle. The pitch is amazing, and it will be good practice over the next few days and will hopefully lead us well into next Thursday.”
After Kohler-Cadmore and Loten had shared 146, Loten and Ballance put on 105 for the second wicket through the afternoon before both falling caught behind and caught at slip to the spin of Nicholas Keast and Haynes.
Loten’s 84 came off 206 balls, with 11 fours. The tall right-hander was particularly strong off his legs in his bid to win a place in the team to face Glamorgan.
There is no doubt about Ballance’s place for that fixture. His return to the game after missing last year has yielded three fifties in as many pre-season games, with his latest milestone coming off 66 balls with five fours and a six.
Brook and Fraine shared 104 either side of tea to advance Yorkshire from 274-3, with Brook hitting a quartet of glorious straight drives in 89 balls.
He hit 12 fours in all before edging left-arm seamer Hishaam Khan behind.
Fraine reached his fifty off 98 balls with nine fours late in the day.
Photo courtesy of John Heald