Jason Gillespie insists Yorkshire will need to be at their best to claim the scalp of defending NatWest T20 Blast champions Northamptonshire Steelbacks at Wantage Road tomorrow.
The Vikings are bidding for their third North Division win and their second on the bounce after last Friday’s thriller against Lancashire, which saw Aaron Finch star with a blistering 88 to reel in a target of 180 with three balls remaining.
Yorkshire are also aiming for revenge for an opening night North Division reverse against the Steelbacks at Headingley last month.
Northants have pre-sold 3,000 tickets for tomorrow’s clash (6.30pm), which is more than they sold for last year’s quarter-final with Durham. A crowd of between 4,000 and 5,000 is expected.
Richie Pyrah celebrates scoring the winning runs in the Vikings last outlng against Lancashire.
“Northants are the reigning champions, so we’re facing a big task there,” said coach Gillespie.
“They are a very good team. They have some really good players, so we need to be really switched on as we were against Lancashire, who are a fantastic side and were top of the table.
“If we play to our potential, we can pinch a win there at Northants.”
Gillespie has named an unchanged squad for a clash with a Northants side who have the same record as Yorkshire from their first four matches; won two, lost one with one No Result.
However, it remains to be seen whether former Steelback Jack Brooks will play against his former county after a busy start to the season for the seamer who is the leading wicket-taker in the County Championship’s top division with 35 from eight matches.
Aaron Finch and Jack Brooks will be aiming to impress at Wantage Road.
Brooks is the only pace bowler in the squad to have played in all eight Championship matches in 2014.
At the end of the four-day draw with Nottinghamshire at Headingley yesterday, Gillespie said: “There may be an opportunity to take a few days off because Jack has bowled a lot of overs.
“We would have rested Jack more but for Ryan Sidebottom’s injury. We thought there was potential to lose someone to England, whether it was Tim Bresnan or Liam Plunkett, so injuries are not ideal. But they happen, and they are part and parcel of cricket.
“We’ve got a couple of lads coming back. We’ve got Moin Ashraf coming back from injury, and young Matthew Fisher had a bowl for the first time since breaking his thumb in a fielding mis-hap.
“We’ll get some match overs under his belt over the next week or so, and he may be available for selection as well. We do have options. Moin is probably a couple of weeks away from full fitness.”
Yorkshire 14-man squad to face Northamptonshire Steelbacks:
Jonathan Bairstow, Tim Bresnan, Jack Brooks, Aaron Finch, Andrew Gale (capt), Andrew Hodd, Jack Leaning, Alex Lees, Adam Lyth, Steve Patterson, Richard Pyrah, Azeem Rafiq, Adil Rashid, Oliver Robinson.
The starting XI will be named after the toss on Friday.
Tickets for the Vikings next home match in the NatWest T20 Blast are still available on a limited basis. To take advantage of the pre-sale discount.