“WE know in two weeks when Yorkshire come down to us, they will be like wounded animals. They will come at us hard.”
Hampshire coach Craig White, speaking in the aftermath of his side’s four-wicket win at Headingley earlier this month, had it spot on.
Yorkshire are planning on squaring the ledger when the two meet again in the reverse Specsavers County Championship fixture at the Ageas Bowl on Friday.
Rejuvenated by their innings victory over Warwickshire at Edgbaston over the Easter weekend, the White Rose also have England Test pair Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root available for selection.
Not only that, but they have been given a huge lift by the performances of young seamer Ben Coad, who has a remarkable 18 wickets from two matches.
“Chalky’s right - we were wounded about what happened given we drove the vast majority of the game,” said coach Andrew Gale.
“We’re going down there to win, that’s for sure.”
Hampshire have started the season like a side who could challenge for the title, rather than one who will be in a relegation fight for the third year running.
They recruited wisely, if controversially in many people’s eyes, with South African duo Kyle Abbott and Rilee Roussow on Kolpak contracts.
And they also dominated their most recent clash with defending champions Middlesex at the Ageas Bowl, victory only being prevented by Middlesex’s tail in their second innings late on day four.
“I’ve said from the outset that any team in this division can win the title,” said Gale.
“You only need to look at Warwickshire. They’ve got a fantastic squad, but they’ve lost the first two games by an innings.
“Hampshire have recruited really well, especially with Kyle Abbott.
“They’re a good team who are full of confidence, but we’re playing some good cricket at the moment as well.”
Gale spoke about Yorkshire’s home-grown development policy in the build-up to this fixture, relating his comments to Coad’s performances.
And while he was not being critical of Hampshire, it is worth noting that Hampshire fielded five Southern African-born players against Middlesex as well as West Indian Fidel Edwards as a Kolpak.
“We pride ourselves on that, with the time and money we put into the Academy,” he said.
“We don't want to be signing guys from around the country or abroad, we want to back our home-grown players.
“We will always give them the chance first. The Academy lads can then see a path into the first team, and that gives them hope.”
Root and Bairstow are two of Yorkshire’s most prized Academy products, and they will return for a rare four-day appearance.
Jack Leaning and Andrew Hodd will almost certainly be the ones to miss out.
“To have two guys like that, world-class players right on top of their game, it’s going to strengthen us no doubt,” said Gale, who will have to rejig his batting order as a result.
“We have one of the best number threes in the world available, so I’d doubt Peter Handscomb will bat there.
“He’ll come in down the order I’d imagine, and that’s a good place to be in as a team.”
Hampshire will continue to be without Australian overseas captain George Bailey, who is taking the first month off after getting married.