YORKSHIRE will go into Tuesday's Specsavers County Championship match against Middlesex at Headingley with a new opening partnership.

Coach Andrew Gale has opted to change things after a disappointing season for Adam Lyth and Alex Lees against the new ball.

The plan is for Australian overseas batsman Shaun Marsh to make his red-ball debut for the county alongside Lyth at the top of the order.

However, with Lyth awaiting the birth of his first child, that could change. Yorkshire want Lyth to play, but he could leave the match if necessary.

If Lyth is not selected in the 11 due to the birth, Lees is likely to resume his role as an opener.

Otherwise, Lees could yet retain his place in the side as a middle-order batsman following some good form in the second team.

“We are going to make changes at the top of the order,” confirmed Gale.

“We are going to break the opening partnership up. Shaun Marsh is going to go up top.

“We are just waiting to see what happens with Adam Lyth.

“He is pending the birth of his first child. His wife’s due during the game.

“He’s going to play, but we’ll have to wait and see what happens. He may have to leave during the game. It would be ideal if the baby’s born just before the game or just afterwards.

“Leesy’s in the squad, but he’s not going to open.

“The opening partnership hasn’t worked for a while, having been successful a couple of years ago.

“But if the opening partnership can work, I think everyone else in the order could benefit.”

There will be further changes in the batting line-up, with captain Gary Ballance fit again after his fractured finger.

Unfortunately, Marsh will only play this game and at Surrey next week before returning to Perth ahead of Western Australia’s domestic campaign.

That is earlier than originally planned, and it is understood Yorkshire are assessing their options regarding an overseas replacement.

The White Rose head into this clash with the defending champions in seventh place in Division One, 23 points clear of Somerset in the second relegation place.

It is the first of four remaining games, and Middlesex in sixth are three points better off.

This will be Yorkshire’s first action in any competition since August 17.

“We have treated it like a mini pre-season,” said Gale.

“We’ve had a couple of two-day games between ourselves, one which was interrupted by weather.

“On the whole, I couldn’t have asked for anything more from the lads. They’ve bought into everything that we’ve put on.

“It hasn’t just been about nets, it’s been about putting them under pressure in match situations so that when they cross that white line they deal with the pressure that comes with it.

“These four games are massive for us in the scheme of things because if we finish strong and can win a couple of games, we can still finish in the top three.

“If things don’t go well, we’re going to be looking over our shoulder, and we’ll only have ourselves to blame for that.

“We want to finish with some real momentum. If we do that, it will have been an all right season. We’ll have learnt some valuable lessons and can move on from that.

“If we don’t and haven’t got the right mindset, we could find ourselves in trouble.”