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Gale backs younger players to fill gap left by Malan

— 3 March 2021

Andrew Gale is confident Yorkshire’s batting line-up can prosper without the presence of Dawid Malan during the first two months of the county season after his maiden Indian Premier League call-up.

Malan, the world number one ranked T20 batsman, was last month bought in the IPL auction by Kings XI Punjab.

It means he could be unavailable to Gale for as many as the opening eight LV= Insurance County Championship matches of 2021, up to June 6.

But the White Rose coach admits last summer’s performances of some up and comers has left him feeling more relaxed about the situation than he might have done in years gone by.

“There’s no doubt we will miss Dawid’s experience and quality – any team in the country would,” said the former double Championship-winning captain.

“That’s why we brought him in.

“The team was crying out for that experienced head, and he showed that in particular against Derby (in the Bob Willis Trophy draw at Emerald Headingley) with that double hundred.

“But I’m not as concerned as I once was when it comes to filling a place like that because last summer showed we have younger players capable of doing a job.

“Will Fraine impressed, there’s Tom Loten, Harry Brook, and Jonny Tatts (Tattersall) is showing more consistency.

“I’m very confident these guys can fill the void, with other players below them showing excellent signs as well.

“I’m sure a lot of our younger lads were watching the auction and thinking, ‘Wow, there’s another spot in the team that I could take’.”

It is hoped England Test captain Joe Root will be available for some Championship cricket in the early stages of the campaign after his winter exploits in Sri Lanka and India.

And Gary Ballance is back in training after missing the whole of 2020 through illness.

Malan, signed by Yorkshire from Middlesex ahead of last summer, was picked up by Punjab for approximately £148,000, following on from time spent in Australia’s Big Bash League with Hobart Hurricanes either side of Christmas.

“When we signed Dawid, he was very early on his T20 journey,” said Gale. “But things have just gone amazingly well for him since then, and he’s the number one batsman in the world and has been picked up in a number of tournaments.

“It’s just the way of the cricketing world at the minute. There’s no point looking back. We will just look forward.

“I saw Dawid the other day, and wished him luck and praised him. His hard work has paid off. He’s getting rewarded for it. Fair play to him.”

Yorkshire begin their Championship campaign against Glamorgan at Emerald Headingley on April 8. The IPL dates have yet to be confirmed, but reports suggest it will run from April 11 to June 6.

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