In the latest edition of the ‘Yorkshire Informer’, we look ahead to Yorkshire’s return fixture against Hampshire in the Club’s third Specsavers County Championship encounter of the season.
We hear from First XI coach Andrew Gale, the competition’s leading wicket-taker Ben Coad, Club captain Gary Ballance and we’ll also bring you the very latest team news and a full statspack.
How difficult is it to gauge the quality of Hampshire?
“I’ve said from the outset that any team in this division can win the title.
“You only need to look at Warwickshire. They’ve got a fantastic squad, but they’ve lost the first two games by an innings.
“Hampshire have recruited really well, especially with Kyle Abbott, he’s a fantastic addition.
“They’re a good team who are full of confidence, but we’re playing some good cricket at the moment as well.”
It must be nice to have a full compliment of players to select from?
“To have two guys like Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, world-class players right on top of their game, it’s going to strengthen us no doubt.
“We have one of the best number threes in the world available, so I’d doubt Peter Handscomb will bat there.
“He’ll come in down the order I’d imagine, and that’s a good place to be in as a team.”
How much are you looking forward to having another bowl at Hampshire?
“As long as I bowl like I did when they came here then I’ll be alright. I believe I’ve got a few technical points that I can exploit. But as long as I perform the way I have been doing, then I’ll be alright.
“They finished in the bottom two last year so they have been a bit of a surprise, but they have made some very good signings in Rilee Rossouw and Kyle Abbott, who are both very good players.
“You look at their team on paper and you think they could be a threatening outfit this year and they’ve proved us right so far.”
How to you assess your chances against Hampshire?
“In both games we’ve played really good cricket and we’ve managed to step it up each time. Against Hampshire it just proved to be a couple of below par sessions that cost us the game.
“We should have drove it home, but now we’ve got the confidence from our win over Warwickshire, we should be able to keep on improving.”
How much are you looking forward to Friday’s encounter?
“Hampshire played really well in that fourth innings to win the match, and you’ve got to give them credit. They’re a good side playing excellent cricket.
“But we’d like to put in a good performance and reverse that result.
“We have more guys fit now, bowlers wise, and obviously we have Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow coming back for this game. They are pretty decent players, aren’t they?
“It has all the makings for a really good game.”
New England Test captain Joe Root and batsman/wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow return for the trip to Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.
The England pair slot into an incredibly strong looking top six, alongside new overseas batsman Peter Handscomb, who will be looking to add to his slick 75 in the win against Warwickshire.
Leg spinner Adil Rashid retains his place in the squad for the second successive game, while Liam Plunkett (calf), Ryan Sidebottom (tight hamstring) and Jack Brooks (calf) remain sidelined with no date scheduled for a return as yet.
Yorkshire’s 13-man squad to face Hampshire County Cricket Club:
Gary Ballance (Captain), Jonny Bairstow (Wicke-keeper), Tim Bresnan, Ben Coad, Matthew Fisher, Peter Handscomb, Alex Lees, Adam Lyth, Steven Patterson, Azeem Rafiq, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, David Willey.
o Yorkshire are unbeaten in their last six visits to Hampshire (W2 D4).
o Yorkshire have only tasted defeat three times across their last 45 matches on the road (W16 D26).
o No bowler has taken more wickets this season than Yorkshire’s Ben Coad (18); he had only been involved in one County Championship game prior to this campaign.
o Jimmy Adams (Hampshire) is 76 runs away from reaching 13,000 first-class runs.
To listen to ball-by-ball commentary click here
Continuing rather cloudy, with some limited sunny intervals but also the chance of a few further spots of rain at times.
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
Largely dry with light winds and warm some sunshine over the weekend, but with some chilly nights expected. Becoming colder and more showery after a spell of rain Monday.