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Jason Gillespie: Graft and craft vital for Yorkshire
10:50am Thursday 31st October 2013 in Sport
Yorkshire are set for a winter of hard work as they prepare for the tough task of improving on last season’s displays in all forms of the game.
It won’t be hard to better their performances in Twenty20 and one-day cricket after only five wins from 22 matches in all, but going one better than a second-placed finish in the LV= County Championship will be no mean feat.
With Lancashire and Northamptonshire replacing Surrey and Derbyshire, division one promises to be a stronger competition.
Coach Jason Gillespie said: “The game of cricket improves, both with individuals getting better and teams getting better. That’s certainly something we’re conscious of. We need to really challenge ourselves this winter.
“The players have had their end-of-season appraisals and the support staff have had meetings as well. We’ve identified areas where we can get better. We’re excited about that. When the lads come back from their break, they will really get stuck in."
The majority of Yorkshire’s players return to pre-season training at Headingley before Christmas, although there will be a number of absentees, including captain Andrew Gale.
The left-handed batsman is heading to Australia next week to play a spell of grade cricket with Melbourne club Dandenong, who are captained by former Nottinghamshire fast bowler Darren Pattinson.
Although the White Rose missed out on the Championship following that damaging defeat to eventual champions Durham in August, Gillespie still looks back on the 2013 campaign as a successful one.
“In the last two seasons, to get promoted and be in a position where you can seriously challenge for the title, I think you can measure that as success,” added the Australian.
“After losing the first game of the season comfortably, I think you can argue that, as a team, we did well. You can also measure success on the improvement of individuals.
“If you look through the batting order in particular, there was improvement in the majority of the players. That is a massive positive.
“One thing we said to the players after the Sussex game at the start of the summer was ‘let’s not let this define our season’.
“We had four or five months of really good training, which culminated in a great pre-season trip to Barbados. We were really conscious as a support staff, including the captain, to make sure that the Sussex game didn’t undo all the good work we’d done.
“I was really pleased to see us respond to that in an extremely positive manner.”
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