BATTING coach Paul Grayson has singled out Yorkshire’s away form as an area for improvement if they are to secure their maiden title in the Vitality Blast.

The Vikings have never won the Blast, a competition which has been running since 2003, and have only ever reached Finals Day twice.

It is a statistic which irks coaches, players and supporters at Emerald Headingley.

But a new year brings fresh hope, and the squad Yorkshire have assembled looks to have every chance of breaking their longstanding duck.

Their away form is clearly an issue. In the last five seasons prior to this, they have only won 10 Blast games on the road compared to 18 on home turf at Emerald Headingley.

The Vikings first chance to better that record came against Durham at Emirates Riverside on Friday night (6.30pm).

“I think it’s a bit of consistency that’s needed,” said Grayson. “Our record suggests we’re outstanding at Headingley, but we have to be better when we go away from home to places like Chesterfield, where we tend to lose every year.

“They can be the make or break as to whether you get through to the quarter-finals.

“We have got to be a bit smarter and be more savvy away from home.

“We know Headingley, the conditions, it’s a great pitch, and it suits our style of play.

“But sometimes you have to play a bit differently away from home, maybe play ugly and win matches that way.

“The personnel we’ve got - Jonny Bairstow is going to be around for a bit, Adil Rashid, Dawid Malan - there’s no excuses.

“We feel we can go pretty well in this competition this year.”

Yorkshire opened their 2021 account with a six-wicket victory over Birmingham Bears at Headingley on Thursday. Friday night was Durham’s opening game of the campaign.