MARTYN MOXON says facing England fast bowler Steven Finn will provide Yorkshire’s batsmen with the ideal opportunity to show they are ready to step up to international cricket.
Finn will be part of the Middlesex attack for the LV= County Championship match at Lord’s, starting tomorrow.
After a difficult winter which saw him carrying the drinks on the Ashes tour, the 25-year-old has returned to county colours and taken 15 wickets in two Championship matches, including hauls of six wickets, five and four.
He is the leading wicket-taker in either division of the County Championship.
There are a number of Yorkshire batsmen with an eye on England, whether it be immediately or in the future.
Joe Root will want to prove form and fitness after his broken right thumb, while Gary Ballance is aiming to retain his Test place for the Sri Lanka series in June.
Ballance is in excellent form, but facing Finn will be a step up from the attacks of Somerset and Northamptonshire.
Alex Lees is also highly thought of by the England hierarchy having impressed with the Lions, while Adil Rashid is hoping for an England future too having excelled with the bat last year and started this season in a similar way.
Yorkshire’s director of cricket said: “With his pace and height like Liam (Plunkett) for us, Finn creates opportunities.
“But it is good for the batsmen too to have players like that around to have the opportunity to play at that higher level.
“If you are looking to be an England player, if you are getting runs against the better attacks, it shows you have the potential to play at that level higher.
“What everybody has said about county cricket at the start of this season is that most of the international players are playing in it, and all the players know there are places up for grabs. It is really keen competition.”
“Middlesex are a good team when all of their players are available - Finn, Morgan, Rogers, Robson, Murtagh, who is a good bowler.
They will challenge you.
“It is not an easy place to go to play, and whoever is on the team sheet we still need to perform.”
Middlesex have won one and lost one of their first two matches, and they provide Yorkshire with the first of two tough looking away trips. Champions Durham are up next a week tomorrow.
At the end of that clash, a quarter of the Championship season will have been played already.
“By the end of the Durham game, if you want to say our credentials are being tested, then they will have been,” continued Moxon. “At the end of those games we willhave a good idea of where we sit. It is going to be an interesting couple of weeks.”
Yorkshire won by ten wickets at Lord’s last year, with Moxon adding: “As an all-round performance, yes (that was as good as we produced).
“We batted well, and the bowling in both innings was excellent. Edgbaston and Trent Bridge were good performances too. We showed through the season that we could be consistent enough.”
Yorkshire have named a 13-man squad including Root and Andrew Gale as captain.
Gale has admitted he is considering leaving himself out of the side to accommodate Root’s return, and Ballance would most likely take on the captaincy if Gale opted to sit out after three low scores in recent matches against Somerset and Northants.
Yorkshire squad (v Middlesex): Gale (captain), Ballance, Brooks, Hodd (wkt), Lees, Lyth, Patterson, Pyrah, Plunkett, Rashid, Root, Sidebottom, Williamson.