Yorkshire’s Jack Brooks pivotal to keeping Championship hopes alive

Yorkshire’s Jack Brooks is pivotal to keeping alive hopes of a White Rose championship conquest. Picture: Alex Whitehead/swpix.com

Yorkshire’s Jack Brooks is pivotal to keeping alive hopes of a White Rose championship conquest. Picture: Alex Whitehead/swpix.com

First published in Sport
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JASON GILLESPIE is hoping the ‘J train’ steams in and keeps Yorkshire on track for the LV= County Championship title.

That is one of the nicknames captain Andrew Gale has given to the county’s new ball bowler Jack Brooks, their leading Championship wicket-taker with 52 from 13 matches with two five-wicket hauls.

The Yorkshire hierarchy accept that the former Northamptonshire bowler can leak runs and is not as economical as two of his fellow seamers, Ryan Sidebottom and Steve Patterson.

Throughout this season, Brooks’ economy rate is 3.56 runs per over on average, while Sidebottom and Patterson have gone at 2.48 and 2.47 respectively.

But they know that when he strikes, he can often pick up two or three very quickly to change the course of an innings in their favour.

There have been seven examples of this in the Championship so far this summer, the most obvious coming in the second game of the season against his former county at Headingley in April when he took four wickets in 22 balls in the first innings.

He took three in 13 in the first innings against Warwickshire at Headingley and three in 12 in the first innings against Northants at Wantage Road.

Brooks has also taken two wickets in five balls, two in two, two in six and two in seven in matches against Nottinghamshire at Headingley, Warwickshire at Edgbaston, Middlesex at Scarborough and, most recently, Sussex at the same venue.

“Our plan is to bowl quite full, and that hasn’t changed in the whole time that I’ve been at the club,” said coach Gillespie.

“Sometimes you don’t get it right - somebody like Jack Brooks, who can go for runs.

“But Galey always talks about you never know when the J train comes in and goes bang, bang, bang.

“Sometimes he can go for runs, but we know what he’s trying to do, and we’re fully supportive of that.

“When we get it right, it works, and Steve Patterson probably gets it right as consistently as anybody. The stats show that him and Siddy get the ball on a fuller length more than anybody else in the country.”

Brooks, Sussex’s Steve Magoffin (53) and Lancashire’s Tom Smith (53) are the three top wicket-takers in division one.

After coming up against Magoffin at Scarborough last week, Brooks and Smith meet in the Roses Championship clash at Emirates Old Trafford, starting on Sunday.

Prior to that, Yorkshire are in Royal London one-day Cup quarter-final action against Durham at Headingley on Thursday. In his maiden one-day campaign for Yorkshire, Brooks has taken ten wickets from seven matches.

Meanwhile, Gillespie has backed Kane Williamson to end his stay with the county in style after posting his first hundred for the county in the Championship clash with Sussex at Scarborough.

Williamson has the potential of three more matches, including a possible one-day semi-final, before leaving for Champions League T20 duty in India with his state side Northern Districts in time the start of the competition on September 13.

“Kane was really pleased to get that first hundred for Yorkshire, and the way he played was fantastic,” added Gillespie.

“He’s missed out with a couple of nineties, so hopefully it should be the start of a nice little run for him.”

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