by Mike Berriman
Yorkshire and England legend and outspoken critic of the national team Geoffrey Boycott recently said that Yorkshire would beat the current England side. After Yorkshire duo Joe Root and Gary Ballance rescued England on day one of the Ashes, is he right?
England’s batting line-up is dominated by Yorkies. Adam Lyth has yet to consolidate his position as England’s opening batsman, but Gary Ballance – who averaged 66.20 in the West Indies this year – and golden boy Joe Root have quickly established themselves as key run-getters in the Test arena.
Most county sides would be in disarray with a trio of talent on international duty but Jonny Bairstow – who was in danger of becoming the forgotten man of English cricket before his fantastic knock in an ODI against New Zealand last month – is averaging an incredible 95.88 this summer in the LV= County Championship. Ex-England stalwart Tim Bresnan has also impressed with the bat, averaging 64.00, and at just 21, Jack Leaning has quickly become an integral part of the Yorkshire batting line-up averaging 61.25.
Verdict: Yorkshire – England’s batting is being held together by Yorkies at the moment. The poor form of veterans Alastair Cook and Ian Bell has been highlighted by the success of Yorkshire’s batsman, and with Bairstow, Bresnan and Leaning all piling on the runs at county level, Yorkshire wins the battle of the batters.
King of Spin
Filling the void left by Graeme Swann as England’s spinner was never going to be easy, but Moeen Ali has done an admiral job so far. His ability with both bat and ball makes him a safe choice for selectors, but as a world-class spinner, and as one capable of dismantling sides on the final few days of a Test match, there is still a large question mark. Adil Rashid was impressive in spells as part of the one-day side against New Zealand, and with the ability to turn the ball both ways, he has the potential to become a genuine international leg-spinner – something England has never had before.
Verdict: England – Rashid has the potential to be great but is still a long way off becoming the finished article. England, at least for the time being, are right to pick Ali – but only just.
Battle of the quicks
Their time in the Test arena may be a thing of the past, but Liam Plunkett and Ryan Sidebottom continue to take wickets regularly at domestic level for Yorkshire. Mark Wood has made a promising start to his international career and Stuart Broad and James Anderson, at their best, are still two of the most formidable bowlers in Test cricket.
Verdict: England – Yorkshire have a brilliant bowling attack in county cricket but not even the most die-hard Yorkie fan could ignore – even at the twilight of his career – the brilliance of Lancastrian Jimmy Anderson, and Stuart Broad, albeit intermittently, is still capable of moments of brilliance.
It is too close to call………..there is only one way to find out, Yorkshire v England at Headingley anyone? After we beat the Aussies in the Ashes, obviously.
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