JASON GILLESPIE says his Yorkshire players should have no problems making the quick adjustment from Championship cricket to Twenty20 ahead of tonight’s NatWest Blast opener against reigning champions Northamptonshire at Headingley.
A lot is made of the hectic nature of the county schedule and how difficult it is for players to switch from one format to the other and often back again within a matter of days.
England limited overs wicketkeeper Jos Buttler said as much earlier this week as he prepares to make his short form debut for Roses rivals Lancashire at Trent Bridge this evening.
White Rose coach Gillespie, however, does not subscribe to that view, and he has played down such concerns.
“These guys are professional cricketers,” said the former Australian fast bowler.
“There is a term that’s come into cricket in the last few years, and people talk about red ball and white ball skills. I just think it’s a cricket ball. They are cricket skills. I think they are transferrable between the games.
“There are yorkers bowled in the longer form of the game, there are slower balls, bouncers and big hits. They are not just confined to white ball cricket.
“I think skills are absolutely transferrable - it’s more the mindset that’s different.
“I think in one-day cricket, there’s a real attitude about it. You have to have a really positive, aggressive attitude to one-day cricket, and we’ll certainly be taking that into it as best we can.
“We will go out there and try and play as aggressive cricket as possible.”
Gillespie is obviously keen for a strong start against a Northants side who surprised many last year but have had a nightmare build-up to the season due to injuries and overseas unavailability.
But he insists it is not the be all and end all if the Vikings slip up against the Steelbacks: “I think we lost our first game in 2012 and made Finals Day,” he continued. “People say you have to start well, but you have to finish well as well.
“Having said that, of course it would be great to start off with a win. Our goal is to win every game. Whether that’s achievable or not, we don’t know.”
Gillespie will be able to call upon all of his international players tonight apart from overseas batsman Aaron Finch, who is still at the Indian Premier League.
He will recall Ryan Sidebottom having rested him from this week’s Championship win over Warwickshire, which finished on Tuesday, although Alex Lees and Azeem Rafiq are two notable omissions.
“We’ve seen over the last few years there are some guys who specialise more in one form of the game than the other,” he added.
“You absolutely need a squad mentality when you play county cricket. There are three distinct forms of the game, and it would be foolish to think every player can play in every game.
“Some guys need a break, and we took the opportunity to give Siddy one against Warwickshire. We know he will be fit, fresh and firing come Friday night. We have to be smart and utilise our assets wisely.”
Northants have re-signed powerful South African opener Richard Levi on a limited overs deal, while New Zealand fast bowler Ian Butler will debut tonight having spent last year with Nottinghamshire for T20.
Seamers Jackson Bird, Rory Kleinveldt and Sohail Tanvir have all pulled out of contracts with Northants in the last two months.
Yorkshire 13 v Northants: Gale c, Bairstow, Ballance, Bresnan, Brooks, Hodd, Lyth, Plunkett, Pyrah, Rashid, Root, Sidebottom, Williamson. The match starts at 5.30pm.