Harry Brook has been working on a more disciplined approach to his four-day batting ahead of this summer – and the signs are looking good.
Brook scored a superb 111 off 178 balls, retired out, during yesterday’s opening day of Yorkshire’s final pre-season friendly against Durham MCC Universities at Emerald Headingley.
Today, he was in the field as the students replied to a first-innings 370-5 declared with 238 all out, including 4-39 for South African quick Mathew Pillans.
Yorkshire then closed the day on 48-0 from 12.3 overs in their second innings, with bad light ending play 20 minutes early.
Brook has been highlighted as a player to watch in 2021 by captain Steve Patterson, while Adam Lyth has also described the 22-year-old as a more rounded player.
Brook has posted others scores of 25, 30, 48 and 76 during pre-season, leaving him in an excellent place ahead of Thursday’s opening LV= County Championship clash with Glamorgan.
“This week’s pitch is a bit tougher than last week’s (against Leeds/Bradford). It’s been doing a bit more instead of being pretty flat,” he said.
“I had to dig in through the middle of the (first) day because it was quite tough – they bowled well. I was very happy with that.
“To be as disciplined as I possibly can is something I’m determined to do. In this game, we might get a few more bad balls than we will against Glamorgan.
“And if you do get a bad one, the next one might be a good one. So it’s about playing everything on its merit and not getting ahead of myself.
“Over the last couple of years, I might have tried to hit the next one for four as well. But I left them and played nicely.
“I’ve worked really hard on leaving the ball and as much on my defence as possible this winter.
“I have to judge myself strictly. If I feel like I’m defending well, I should do well. That’s a key for me. If I’m defending and playing forwards well, I’ll be happy.
“I feel like I’m in a really good place at the moment.”
Despite a strong pre-season and some encouraging performances last summer, Brook is refusing to rest on his laurels, however.
“There’s quite a lot of competition for places this year,” he said.
“I think we’ve got a great side, with so many good players, and we could be pushing for a couple of trophies. So if I go a few games without scoring a run, and others are scoring runs in the second team, I could end up being dropped.
“I wouldn’t say I’m settled yet. But, hopefully, this year, I can make that number five my spot.”
Today marked the ninth and penultimate day of pre-season friendly action for the White Rose.
Both sides enjoyed success during a highly competitive day two in bright but blustery conditions.
Yorkshire’s South African overseas pace duo Duanne Olivier and Pillans shared six wickets as the students were bowled out for 238 midway through the evening session.
Pillans finished with an impressive four-for in 11.1 overs, while Olivier chipped in with 2-45 from 12. Matthews Waite and Revis also finished with a wicket apiece, as did spinners Dom Bess and Josh Sullivan.
The students recovered from 57-3 before lunch to 196-5 just before tea, with Middlesex batsman Joe Cracknell (39), Charlie Scott (44) and Tom Price (42) all playing nicely.
Wicketkeeper Simon Fernandes was later last man out to Pillans for 39.
Cracknell and Price both counter-attacked, with the latter taking 20 off a Bess over during the afternoon, including two fours and two slog swept sixes.
Yorkshire’s new signing finished with 1-56 from 15 overs, getting Lewis Bedford lbw.
Lyth then finished the day on 27 not out and Tom Loten 13.