YORKSHIRE will rest Jack Brooks during a hectic week of Twenty20 cricket as they look to preserve their leading wicket-taker for the final six LV= County Championship matches of 2014.
Brooks will miss some, if not all, of the Vikings’ five NatWest Blast matches in eight days, starting with tomorrow’s sold out Roses clash with North Division pacesetters Lancashire at Headingley.
The 30-year-old new ball bowler has 42 Championship wickets to his name, more than anybody in Division One.
But he has looked tired during the last two matches against Sussex and Warwickshire even though he took seven wickets in the two fixtures combined, including the 200th in his first-class career at Edgbaston on Tuesday.
“Jack’s hitting a wall now,” said captain Andrew Gale. “We’re probably going to leave him out of some of the Twenty20s over the next week or so.
“We’ve got maybe a ten-day break from Championship cricket with five Twenty20s, so it’s the ideal opportunity now to let him put his feet up because he’s going to be a big asset for us in the second half of the year.
“We’re going to need him. You’ve seen what he can do. He’s one of those bowlers who one spell can bowl a bag of rubbish and the next he comes on and gets three wickets in an over.
“He might play every Championship game from now on in. The schedule actually calms down a bit now Championship wise. He probably won’t play every Twenty20, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to win. It’s an ideal time to give him a rest.”
Since moving from Northamptonshire ahead of 2013, Brooks has taken 76 wickets in 21 Championship matches, including 34 from eleven last season.
With Ryan Sidebottom fit again after a hamstring injury and Tim Bresnan okay to resume playing duties following an injection on a sore elbow, Yorkshire are not short of bowling options as they bid for silverware on three fronts between now and September.
In fact, they have plenty of options across all departments in their squad, highlighted during the last month by the emergence of Jack Leaning and Karl Carver in the Championship and the performances of the experienced Rich Pyrah.
“At the start of the season when you sit down with a squad of players, there’s always ten or 12 lads who are disappointed not to be in that first squad,” added Gale.
“You tell them ‘at some stage four or five of you will be needed because it’s very much a squad game’. You don’t think you’re getting through to them, but it shows that you do need lads like Rich to come in and do a job.”