2010 in a Nutshell
Favourites to go down at the beginning of the season, Yorkshire nearly ended up winning the Championship, being one of three teams still in contention on the final day of the season. The capitulation to Kent when trying to push for a positive result cost in the end, but third place was a good return on the year with a young home-grown (ish) team
On the batting front, it was a standout season for Adam Lyth. Promoted to opener, he scored 1500 runs to beat Rudolph to the top of the averages. Anthony McGrath also topped 1000 runs, while Jonathan Bairstow, in his first full season, and captain Andrew Gale also got close, despite Gale missing matches to captain England Lions.
Adil Rashid topped the bowling list as well as averaging 45 with the bat. Less heralded were Steve Patterson and Oliver Hannon Dalby who took their chances and plenty of wickets while Tim Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad were away with England.
In the One Day competitions, getting to a semi-final in the Clydesdale Bank trophy was almost exclusively down to Rudolph, who scored 755 at nearly 95 opening the batting. He will be missed this year. The less said about the 20:20 campaign the better.
Jacques Rudolph has gone, while Ryan Sidebottom has come back. This obviously strengthens the bowling considerably while weakening the batting. It also means that there is likely to be an all Yorkshire team this season. Joe Root or Joe Sayers (hopefully now fully recovered from illness and injury) are likely to be those to benefit from the additional batting place. However, with Lyth and Gale looking at the vacant place in England’s middle order, the likes of McGrath and Bairstow will also need to step up to the plate to make up the missing runs.
The return of Sidebottom could mean a pace attack of Sidebottom, Bresnan and Shahzad. In reality Bres in particular will not be seen much in Yorkshire this season following his excellent winter with England, which may give a chance to the promising Moin Ashraf. The spin attack also looks strong with Adil Rashid looking for force his way back into England reckoning, with David Wainwright and Azeem Rafiq as back up.
I’d go with
Joe Root, Adam Lyth, Anthony McGrath, Andrew Gale, Jonathan Bairstow (wk), Adil Rashid, Tim Bresnan/ Steve Patterson, Ajmal Shahzad, David Wainwright, Ryan Sidebottom, Oliver Hannon-Dalby
With Joe Sayers and Moin Ashraf in waiting.
With the return of Ryan, Adil Rashid’s runs may be more critical than his wickets this season. However, in the absence of Bresnan, Rashid is the critical part of this team with bat and ball. A standout season could see the Pennant return to Headingly and England working out how they can play him and Swann in the same team.
Over the last three years, Andrew Gale, Adam Lyth and Jonathan Bairstow have established themselves as highly promising batsmen. This year, it is the turn of Joe Root.
Coach and Captain
Same as last year, with Martyn Moxon and Andrew Gale. Gale won a lot of plaudits for his captaincy as well as his batting last year. He's a strong contender for Paul Collingwood's spot in England's middle order and it's not beyond the realms of possiblity that he could be England's next captain.
Yorkshire, Durham, Somerset and Nottinghamshire will be the top 4 in the Championship in some order. I don’t expect any excitement in the shorter form of the game though!