BEN Coad has revealed how a new idea from Yorkshire coaches Andrew Gale and Rich Pyrah has helped him become the talk of county cricket.
The 23-year-old opening bowler from Ripon has made a stunning start to the new season, taking six- and five-wicket hauls in each of the first two Specsavers County Championship matches.
He claimed match figures of 10-102 in the innings victory over Warwickshire at Edgbaston, which finished on Monday, and his tally of 18 wickets is the best in Division One.
Only Gloucestershire fast bowler Liam Norwell has taken as many scalps in Division Two.
When Yorkshire travel to Hampshire on Friday, Coad could even become the first White Rose bowler since Peter Hartley in 1995 to take at least five wickets in an innings in each of the first three Championship matches of a season.
Gale and Pyrah took over as Yorkshire's new head coach and assistant following Jason Gillespie's departure last September and one of their first tasks was to ensure they accelerated the development of the next generation of Yorkshire quicks.
"We've had a young fast-bowling programme throughout the winter, which Rich and Galey have set up, and it's really helped," explained Coad.
"It's their idea to get the young bowlers stronger and work on skills, so we've certainly been bowling a lot more. It's just for the younger lads, with myself and James Wainman the oldest at 23 or 24.
"The older lads already have those skills that we need to learn. They are involved – people like Ryan Sidebottom, Tim Bresnan and Steve Patterson – but only to help us.
"It's extra to what we would usually do. We'd be in a little bit longer on a Monday, for example. It's only one or two sessions a week but it's helped us get ahead of the game.
"Dizzy (Gillespie) did a great job, and I've got nothing but praise for him, but this is a fresh idea and I believe it's a good one. Rich was the bowling coach and he's really helped me a lot."
Yorkshire's need for their young bowlers to perform came much quicker than expected, given pre-season injuries to Jack Brooks, Liam Plunkett and Sidebottom.
Pyrah said: "It's not only that Coady's got the skills, he's also got an extra yard of pace, which you've seen. Hopefully that should be the difference for him this year.
"We put the programme together in order to really up-skill him and the rest of the young bowlers. It also consisted of an extra strength and conditioning session to get them stronger.
"They've all got their own specific technical things they're working on but as a group we worked on skills, getting them to know their own release points, what's their stock delivery and advancing their games from there.
"We've made sure everyone's got a wobble seam delivery and other things like that.
"Maybe a couple of senior Academy lads have been involved but it's more the young pros on our staff. We certainly didn't need to get Brez and Patto involved!
"It was a really good opportunity for us to work closely as a group and that sort of thing carried on when six bowlers went to Dubai a few days early. It's worked really well."