YORKSHIRE are aiming to crank things up a gear at just the right time when they travel to face fellow high-flyers Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford today (11am).

The White Rose players and coaches have not hidden away from the fact they have been nowhere near their best this season despite remaining unbeaten in the LV= Insurance County Championship with three wins and three draws.

The 200-run win over Kent at Canterbury last month was their best performance before battling wins against Sussex at Hove and Northamptonshire at Emerald Headingley.

Those battling qualities have built confidence, but this week will provide them with their biggest test of 2021.

Lancashire are also unbeaten with three wins and three draws, sitting top of Group Three by three points from second-placed Yorkshire.

“You would say that ourselves and Lancashire are probably the two best teams in the group,” said coach Andrew Gale ahead of the Sky Sports televised fixture. “As I’ve said to the boys, we keep finding a way to get ourselves in winning positions without stringing together anywhere near a perfect performance.

“That’s encouraging, but we can play better.

“It’s going to be a great game of cricket because we’re two evenly matched sides. Two good teams playing with confidence, and it’s a Roses game. That always adds a little bit of extra spice to it.

“Fingers crossed, we can get four days of good weather.”

At the top of Group Three, Lancashire have 101 points from six games, Yorkshire 98 from six, Glamorgan 80 from seven and Northamptonshire 76 from six.

A win for either side would represent a giant step towards a top two finish.

A win for Lancashire would also be their first in Championship cricket over Yorkshire since 2011 and their first at Old Trafford since 2000 when Sourav Ganguly and Darren Lehmann were the overseas players for the Red and White Rose.

Lancashire completed the double over Yorkshire in 2011, but they are winless in nine four-day games since (Yorkshire five wins and four draws). That includes last season’s rainy Bob Willis Trophy draw at Emerald Headingley.

Yorkshire will be without England players Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan and Joe Root, while Lancashire will be without Jimmy Anderson and likely Jos Buttler.

Jordan Thompson has agreed a contract extension with Yorkshire to at least October 2023.

Jonny Tattersall has joined Gloucestershire on a one-game loan deal this week, stepping in for James Bracey, who is in England’s Test squad.

Yorkshire squad for Old Trafford: Lyth, Kohler-Cadmore, Ballance, Brook, Hill, Bess, Thompson, Duke, Willey, Patterson (captain), Coad, Olivier, Shutt.