By Matthew Fisher
It is always difficult in your first game of any competition to put all three facets of the game together as perfectly as you would want. But I’d say we just about managed to do it in our T20 opener against Durham on Thursday.
We have now set our standard for the next 13 games, hopefully more.
This group of players is definitely good enough to go all the way in this summer’s Blast. We’ve just got to perform consistently each day.
To me, we don’t need overseas or international players to play well and go far.
Don’t get me wrong, they obviously add immense value. But we have so much talent elsewhere in the squad.
I believe that any player at Yorkshire, including those in the seconds who didn’t play against Durham, can come out and deliver a match-winning performance.
I don’t think losing players should be seen as a big thing. I think we cover all bases with our squad.
You saw that with Jonny Tattersall and Harry Brook on debut. They played brilliantly. The intent Brooky showed was superb.
You could have been forgiven for thinking that Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Adam Lyth had to score a lot of the runs in the next five games to get us some victories while our internationals are away. But we have plenty of big hitters.
Brooky has the talent to hit 100 off 50 balls in a T20, Tatts can do it as well.
Then there’s the Bomb Squad down the order, and they didn’t even get in against Durham.
That’s basically Jack Leaning, Tim Bresnan and myself. And we’ve put ourselves in it!
We’re going to try and tally up how many sixes we hit in how many balls and how far they go. That’s our little competition between ourselves.
The wicket wasn’t as good as it looked against Durham.
Par was probably about 175-180, and I think the way Lythy, Tatts and Brooky played was outstanding.
It’s difficult when you have to bowl against somebody like Tatts, who scoops and dabs and hits the pockets, and then have other lads clearing the ropes at the other end.
Their fields showed they didn’t know too much about Tatts and Brooky. I’m sure other teams will start seeing footage of them, but I reckon they’ll both be fine.
With the ball, Jack Brooks was brilliant. He hit his length and was spot on. The batters’ communication to us was really good. They said hard length was stopping a bit in the pitch.
I think Durham went to death a bit early and tried too many things too early.
I think we bowled perfectly.
For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been on England Lions duty for the one-day tri-series against India and the West Indies A teams. And I’ve loved it.
I perhaps didn’t get the amount of wickets I could have, but I still felt I went well.
I was getting messages of ‘Keep your head up’ and ‘Stay positive’ because my figures suggested I didn’t bowl that well. But they don’t always tell the full story.
The feedback from the coaches upwards was really good.
In a couple of games, I felt I bowled really well. That was a real confidence boost. People like Trevor Bayliss and Ed Smith were around, and I feel like I bowled well for the days they were around, which was good.
It’s just now about performing for Yorkshire and seeing where it takes me.
I really enjoy playing in series like that.
The way the Indians play the game and how big it is in their country, it’s always special when you play against them. I think every single one of their players was in the IPL. We tried to tot up how much their squad went for, and it was pretty much £2m.
I always used to enjoy my under 19s days playing against different opposition, too.
India were good at rotating strike, while West Indies it’s a bit block, block, bash. It’s nice to see the different cultures and how they play cricket.
Getting my Lions cap ahead of my debut at Derby was a nice moment.
It was a step up in level, but the next one is going to be the big challenge. That’s when you are going to feel like you’ve achieved something really special.
It does make you look back on your career and things like that. But perhaps I’m guilty of not reflecting a bit more on that kind of thing.
I do feel I put a lot of pressure on myself to get better and better every day, although is nice to look back and enjoy and reflect on who’s got you here.
My family and friends are obviously central to that, so it was great to have a lot of them there against Durham on Thursday.