It would be easy to write Yorkshire’s year off as unsuccessful since they were unable to finish the season with any silverware to their name. But that would be doing the team an injustice really as they did make it through to the semi-finals in both limited overs competitions and came within touching distance of a third successive County Championship title.
Let’s start first with the Championship shall we? Yorkshire battled their way – tooth and nail you might say – to get themselves to within reach of securing the title for a third year on the bounce. This is a review of the season so, without wishing to delve too deeply into the topic, surely the question has to be: did they deserve the crown? Middlesex snatched the title from under their noses with a fabulous hat-trick by Toby Roland-Jones but the Lord’s based team did not lose a match all season while Yorkshire lost three in the end: Middlesex deserved that title.
And for what it’s worth, Somerset deserved the second place title as well – they won more matches than Yorkshire and ultimately, that is what it boils down to.
As for the limited overs competitions, they can be chalked up as major successes this year compared to performances in previous seasons. Yorkshire made it to the semi-finals of both competitions, which is more consistent than in previous years, but many, many pages of this document could be spent discussing why they were unable to push forward into the final in either format.
It all boils down to which players get given the chances on the big days and which don’t; more often than not the England contingent are rewarded with spots in the team even when they haven’t played in the matches leading to the knock-out rounds.
Looking at the season as a whole, Yorkshire have suffered from a number of injury problems. Ryan Sidebottom, Matthew Fisher and Tim Bresnan all incurred injuries early on in the season – Bresnan made the swiftest recovery, Sidebottom took a large chunk of the season but did return and contributed hugely but the youngest talent of Fisher never made it into the First XI having sustained a hamstring injury pre-season followed by a number of relapses.
David Willey also found himself on the wrong end of injury news for a while but was fortunate enough to be able to be included as just a batsman whilst he made a full recovery.
Finally, let’s just take a moment to remember the biggest news to break out of Headingley this season: Jason Gillespie has stepped down as Head Coach. The Australian fast-bowler has returned to his antipodean roots having spent five full seasons with the county: one saw the team promoted from Division Two, two placed second and third in the Championship and two as County Champions. That’s not a bad rap sheet.
LVCC: 3rd, Division One RLODC: Semi-finals (3rd, North Group) T20 BLAST: Semi-finals (3rd, North Group)
Leading run-scorer: LVCC – AZ Lees 1165 at 40.17; RLODC – A Lyth 439 at 48.77; T20 Blast – A Lyth 312 at 26.00
Leading wicket-taker: LVCC – J Brooks at 25.01; RLODC – LE Plunkett at 23.25; T20 Blast – TT Bresnan 16.80
Win %: LVCC – 31.25; RLODC – 50%; T20 Blast – 50%
Player of the season: Tim Bresnan
While statistically speaking he hasn’t turned up in the ‘leading’ sections, Bresnan has offered invaluable contributions in all formats this year. He frequently provided tail-end runs with the bat but he also delivered with the ball regularly. With the team struggling with international selections and injuries, the experience and talent of a player like Bresnan really boosts the team.
Breakthrough player: Matthew Waite
He admittedly only played six matches – three in each of the limited overs competitions – in the season but Waite secured himself a spot in the ‘up and coming’ category of the Yorkshire team. His three wickets for 48 runs in the semi-final clash against Surrey at Headingley proved he was able to both hold his nerve under pressure and remove top-class players. Keep an eye on him over the course of next season.
Could have done better: Adam Lyth
Even though Lyth scored the most runs in the limited overs competitions, his performances in the Championship could have been more consistent and significant. He also struggled to hold his wicket when the team needed him to.
Need to work on
Not bottling it when it counts. The Yorkshire lads seemed to bring their A-game to their quarter-final clashes and be burnt out by the time the semi-final came around; they weren’t inconsistent as such, just lacking in quite enough momentum to get them all the way.
There will be changes at Headingley with the Head Coach departing but it perhaps won’t be as dramatic as it could be; no players have retired (yet) and the captains and team structures should remain the same for the 2017 season.
Season rating: Average. The team did far better overall this year finishing so well in all formats but ultimately they did not take home any silverware.