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Headingley fortress key for Yorkshire title push
YORKSHIRE are aiming to take advantage of home comforts as they attempt to set the pace in the early stages of the race for the LV County Championship.
Victory over Warwickshire on Tuesday by an innings and 155 runs restored Yorkshire to the top of division one and secured their second Headingley victory of the summer.
That second victory equals the number of wins they secured throughout the 2013 season at home, which was a major factor in Durham stealing ahead of them during the final strait to claim the title.
But this season, Yorkshire are determined to make the most of home advantage with seamer Jack Brooks insisting: “Coming here and playing at home, we’ve got to try and win our home games.
“We know what Headingley plays like and we’ve put the ball in good areas and taken the wickets and the lads have scored some good runs for us. If we can win our home games all year that would be ideal.”
Brooks’ seven wickets against Warwickshire has taken his tally to 46 victims at an average of 15 at Headingley since moving from Northamptonshire at the start of last season.
He believes Yorkshire’s outstanding display against Warwickshire, who were division one leaders, may have been motivated by frustration at dominating their previous two matches against Middlesex and Durham, only to lose at Lord’s and draw at Chester-le-Street.
“There is frustration because we’ve played some really good cricket in every game, even the game we lost we were in charge of it really for the majority of the game,” said Brooks.
“We haven’t played bad cricket as such, maybe the odd session where we’ve not been up to our usual standards, and Durham again was a tough game."
Yorkshire now switch their attentions to their opening match of the NatWest T20 Blast against Northamptonshire, when Brooks could be rested to allow the return of Ryan Sidebottom, who sat out the Warwickshire match.
“I was feeling tired after the Warwickshire game and it was probably touch and go who would miss out between me and Siddy, but we’ve got Twenty20 on Friday and then not a lot next week until on Friday there’s another Twenty20,” added Brooks.
“You obviously don’t want a rest but it’s good for your body to keep yourself fresh.
"A lot of it, for me, is mental and confidence. If I’ve finished a game well I will hold onto that for weeks whereas if I’ve finished a game poorly and then I’m rested then I’m anxious.
“If we want to compete for three trophies we’re going to have to stay fresh. There aren’t many guys these days that are just pigeon-holed for one-day cricket or four-day cricket. It was Siddy’s turn this time, and it could be me next game.”
Jason Gillespie, Yorkshire’s first team coach, has already indicated they plan to make an determined attempt to win all three domestic competitions this summer having blooded a number of youngsters last summer in both the Twenty20 and 40-overs tournaments.
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