RYAN SIDEBOTTOM has urged his Yorkshire team-mates to remain patient as the LV= County Championship title race hots up.
The 36-year-old left-arm swing bowler will play against Warwickshire at Edgbaston tomorrow after almost four weeks out with a hamstring injury, and he has replaced Tim Bresnan in a 14-man squad as he rests a sore elbow.
Sidebottom has seen the White Rose frustrated in their bid for victories from the last two matches against Nottinghamshire and Sussex, wins that would have given them clear daylight at the top of division one.
Instead, they are joint leaders with Notts on 118 points after nine matches. Somerset are five behind with a game in hand.
The former England bowler knows better than anyone just what it takes to be a Championship winner having won it once with Yorkshire and twice with Notts.
And both his wins for Notts in 2005 and 2010 went right down to the wire.
“I have been fortunate to win three Championships, and two of those were on the final day,” he said. “That shows you must keep going to the very end.
“Things can change so fast. Win two or three in a row and that is 70 points, throwing you right up there and maybe giving you a bit of a lead.
“The key is not to get frustrated. Consistency is everything. Put some runs on the board and give the bowlers chance to take 20 wickets.
“Everyone has a bit of a look at the table, but you really can’t read too much into it. Last year, we maybe fell into that trap a bit. We were top of the table and had a decent lead. People kept saying ‘Yorkshire should win’.
“Maybe we looked at the table and lost our way a little bit. Maybe we were a bit immature in that we didn’t execute the simple plans that had worked well for us all season.
“We lost that big game to Durham, they went on a great run, and that is what I mean by how things can change quickly.”
Not surprisingly, Sidebottom has not enjoyed his time on the sidelines after hobbling off midway through the draw against Lancashire last month.
“I’m not a good watcher of cricket if injured,” he said. “I get bored really easily knowing I can’t take part.
“Even though I’m a little bit older now, I still get jealous when the guys are taking wickets. That is something in my make-up. I just want to be out there performing.
“I want to win trophies. I came back to this club to win things. I didn’t come back to just finish my career off with a bit of a knees-up.
“I came back because we have a lot of talented players. Jason Gillespie and Martyn Moxon are also great to play for, and there is a good team spirit. We get on well, but the big thing is we do have a go at each other.
“Teams I’ve played for in the past have not been like that. Everyone has been almost too frightened to say something when you have not performed.
“This team isn’t like that. If we have not done our jobs during the day, we are the first to give each other a kick up the backside. That can be healthy.”
Yorkshire hope Adil Rashid returns in time from paternity leave, while Azeem Rafiq has been left out. Sessay’s left-arm spinner Karl Carver is in the squad.
Yorkshire squad (v Warks): Gale (c), Bairstow, Brooks, Carver, Finch, Hodd, Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Patterson, Pyrah, Rashid, Shaw, Sidebottom.