Andrew Gale: We’re in good shape to put in a big push over the next month
WE have got a tough period coming up at Yorkshire and I think that the lads will be glad of that.
We have been training this week to get the fitness levels right for a tough two or three weeks and we have quite a lot of big fixtures and they are going to come thick and fast, which I think will suit us.
It’s been a little bit stop-start of late and you want to get on a roll.
If you are winning games, you want to keep playing and if you are losing games, you want the next one to come quickly, so you can get back to winning.
The way I see it is that if we perform well over the next month, then it tees things up nicely for a good run-in at the business end of the season.
If we have a decent run in the Twenty20, it can still put us in a nice position to qualify and if we can get a few good results in the County Championship over the next few weeks, we will be in good stead for the run-in and well placed.
We have a big four-day game against Nottinghamshire, starting at Headingley on Monday. Notts are a good side who are probably underperforming this year and they have just been beaten by Somerset and I am sure they will have their tails up to get back on track.
They are all tough games in the County Championship, but Notts especially are a very powerful attacking team and on their day, they can beat anyone. So we will have to be on our game.
Looking at things so far, I think we still have plenty left in the tank and are only playing to sixty or seventy per cent of our potential.
From a bowling point of view, we can be more consistent and something we are working hard towards. We keep having little spells where we keep letting teams off the hook.
Batting-wise, we want to be a little bit more ruthless and take games away from people. We are getting into good positions, but just not pulling away from the opposition as much as I would like.
There’s definitely work to progress and I guess the most encouraging thing is how well we are placed to say we still have plenty left in the tank. It is about finding that extra twenty to thirty per cent and if we can find it at the right time, who knows.
It looks like Gary Ballance will miss tomorrow’s t20 game at Warwickshire.
Liam Plunkett is out injured, but we will have Ryan Sidebottom back, who has been playing at Scarborough this week and quite a lot of lads who are not involved in the Twenty20 have got a bit of cricket under their belts over there.
They will be raring to go on Monday, I’m sure.
Liam has a little tear in his quad, which is unfortunate. He forced his way back into the England team and I thought he did okay in the first couple of games before the injury. We will have to manage that, but it looks like he will be out for three weeks.
In terms of the t20 with our game against Northants last Sunday, we were a little bit stuffed by the weather and Duckworth-Lewis.
When you are batting first in a 12-over game it is difficult to know what a good score is and it wasn’t ideal.
But the simple fact is we need to get back to winning ways – and that loss was our third in a row after winning our first two games.
We need to get that confidence back and Twenty20 is a game of confidence and momentum. We need to get that back.
I watched the England one-day versus New Zealand on Wednesday and I felt that Eoin Morgan showed his class and the innings he played was outstanding.
With the way England are playing, he is really setting the tone as captain, like (Brendon) McCullum does to a certain extent.
England are playing with a lot of freedom and they are getting players in form for the Ashes as well. I thought Rooty’s knock was exceptional as well on Wednesday for such a young lad. To see how well he is performing consistently well under pressure has been unbelievable.