The expected return of Liam Plunkett from a thigh injury should help to re-energise Yorkshire’s fast bowling in their NatWest T20 Blast match against Derbyshire Falcons at Chesterfield tomorrow.
And although Falcons are deeply embedded at the foot of the North Group table with virtually no chance of making the cut for the quarter-final stages of the competition, a win for the Vikings would significantly boost their attempts to reach the last eight.
They remain just one place above Falcons despite last night’s victory over Durham but they have games in hand over most of the teams above them and skipper, Andrew Gale, is confident that if they can overcome Derbyshire and then beat Worcestershire at Headingley two days later they will be well and truly back in the mix.
So far, however, it has been another disappointing T20 campaign for Yorkshire and Gale admits that his side have still got a lot to learn in this form of the game.
“But with three matches over the next six days I still think we can do it if results go right for us,” he said.
“Jonny Bairstow is in the batting form of his life at the moment and I was very pleased with the way our young bowlers performed against Durham.”
Yorkshire’s main concern at the moment is not to ask too much of their experienced pacemen who have contributed so greatly to their rise to the top of the LV= County Championship table and made the club firm favourites to retain the title.
Ryan Sidebottom is shielded from T20 these days and Jack Brooks and Steve Patterson were rested on Friday while Tim Bresnan was used solely as a batsman.
The return of Plunkett, therefore, would be particularly welcomed and with him striving to get back to his best form he should sharpen things up.
While Bairstow can do no wrong, he needs better support from those around him and neither of the Australian big-hitters, Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell, have really exploded this season. The small Chesterfield ground could be to their liking and, if so, the ducks in the Queen’s Park lake could find themselves under bombardment.