Josh Shaw is ready to take his chance in Yorkshire’s first team.
The seamer, 22, will make only his third Specsavers County Championship appearance for the White Rose when play against Essex finally gets underway at Emerald Headingley, with day two abandoned due to a wet outfield.
Shaw has benefitted from the county’s fast bowling unavailability issues, although he was by no means resigned to starting the summer in the seconds before Liam Plunkett and David Willey went to the IPL and Matt Fisher and Steve Patterson got injured.
He had spent part of the last two summers on loan with Gloucestershire, but said: “I was thinking ‘I’m going to stay here and hopefully get a chance in the first game’.
“When we had all the players available, I knew it would be a little chance, but I thought I’d done enough in my head to stake a claim.
“If I didn’t get a start, I’d go into the seconds and prove why I should be playing.”
In 2016, Shaw took 34 wickets in 12 Championship appearances for Division Two side Gloucester, adding 11 more in four matches late last summer.
“That was very valuable, even more so the year before last when I almost played a full year,” he said. “Last year, I went back down in June.
“It didn’t go as well as I’d hoped initially, and it took me a while to get back in their first team. But to play first-class cricket has been a very good experience.
“You can be playing in the seconds and thinking you’re going alright, but when you go into the first team it’s completely different because of the lines and lengths and the different types of wickets.
“There’s still a little bit of step up from Division Two mainly because of the wickets.
“It’s been good to be able to work batsmen out and see what you can improve.”
Shaw is one of host of seamers vying for places at Yorkshire, with so much experience for him to learn from.
“Steve Patterson has been a real help to me,” he said. “He’s helped me with a few things in my action and what I’m thinking about when I’m bowling.
“You have lads who have taken a lot of first-class wickets and Test wickets with Tim Bresnan, and it’s really good to ask questions and get the most out of them.”
Shaw bowled 12 overs and took two wickets during the friendly against Leicestershire at Grace Road on Monday and looked like he had added pace this winter.
He added: “It’s just little bits in my action, making my front side stronger and making sure I’m not falling away, minor things. It’s worked quite well and clicked straightaway.
“Hopefully that shows during the summer.
“I feel a lot fitter and stronger than I have down during the last couple of years, which helps.
“Hopefully that can stay throughout the year because you don’t want to be bowling good pace in April and then slide away in August and September.”