Ben Coad says Yorkshire will need to strike a balance between positivity and caution during this weekend’s two-day warm-up clash with Roses rivals Lancashire at Emerald Headingley.
The two counties – alongside Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire at Edgbaston – meet in the first domestic action of the summer on Friday and Saturday.
When the White Rose county announced the red ball fixture last month, they quickly had to quell a social media ‘storm’: “We would like to issue an apology to those members and supporters who have been offended by the club’s use of the term friendly,” they quipped.
“There are no friendlies against Lancashire,” said seamer Coad, aware that any act of oneupmanship in this match could be beneficial when the two counties meet later down the line in the Bob Willis Trophy.
“We’re always desperate to do well against them, as I’m sure they are against us.
“But we have to be careful as well because it is a warm-up game before the start of the season.
“We don’t want to, especially as bowlers, be going out all guns blazing and bowling extra overs and risking injuries ahead of more important games.
“We have to be careful with what we do.
“If that means putting on somebody different when a certain bowler looks like taking a wicket, then that should be the case just so we make sure we’re ready for August 1.
“As much as we’d love to get one over them, there is a bigger picture – getting to that Lord’s final.”
Yorkshire also face Durham in another two-day game at Headingley next Monday and Tuesday, the game earmarked for Dawid Malan’s debut following a calf injury.
Both games will be live streamed online to members.
After that, five four-day group games will come thick and fast.
County Championship cricket is a format 26-year-old new ball quick Coad has thrived in during the last three summers.
Since debuting midway through 2016, he has taken 136 wickets in 33 appearances. He is, arguably, the White Rose’s most potent weapon and someone they will be desperate not to over exert in the aforementioned friendly games.
However, the schedule is not the only reason Coad knows rotation could be viewed as a positive this summer.
“I’m always happy to play every game as long as I’m fit – touch wood,” he added.
“But it could be a really good chance to see where some of the younger lads are at with their games.
“If we have a few tired bodies after back to back games, we can give them a go with a view to future seasons.
“We’ll definitely be trying to win every game and put the best team out possible, but with games coming quickly after a long break, that could have an impact and mean we use more lads than usual.”
Jonny Bairstow and David Willey will not be available to feature against Lancashire or Durham having entered England’s white ball training bubble at Southampton in preparation for the forthcoming ODI series against Ireland.
Lancashire are in the same boat. They will not be able to call on Richard Gleeson, Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Parkinson for the same reason.
England T20 star Malan is back in training after his calf injury, but the Roses game comes too soon. Gary Ballance, who has recently been ill, will also not feature against Lancashire, but he will against Durham.
Seamers Mat Pillans (side) and Jared Warner (quad) have also picked up injuries, though neither are serious.