Will Kane be able to pull Yorkshire round from their worst-ever one-day start to a season and help give them a much-needed boost in both the NatWest T20 Blast and the Royal London 50-Overs Cup?
Now that New Zealand captain and batting maestro Kane Williamson is back in the Yorkshire camp for the next six weeks or so that is the question the White Rose fans are asking themselves.
Quality overseas players are bound to make a difference to any side and it’s good timing that we have Kane coming inMartyn Moxon
And they are also hoping that Williamson’s class will do much to keep the County Champions at the top of the Division One table in the mid part of the summer as they bid to complete a hat-trick of title wins for the first time since 1966-68.
The rousing Championship victory over Lancashire at Headingley last week ensured that Yorkshire remain well-placed to pull off what would be a great achievement.
But it’s a different story in the one-day arena where, overall, they have made their worst start ever.
Twenty20 cricket first up started in 2003 and in the 14 seasons since then Yorkshire have never lost their first three matches, as they have done this time.
This shortest form of the game is certainly not their forte, having reached Finals Day only once in 2012.
They have begun with two defeats on several occasions and in 2007 they lost their first two games, had the third (a Roses clash) completely washed out and then were beaten by Nottinghamshire before getting off the mark against Durham.
Hopes that a change in format would bring a change in form were dashed on Tuesday when Yorkshire were thrashed with embarrassing ease by Worcestershire Rapids at Headingley in their RL 50-Overs Cup opener.
It’s not that Yorkshire are guilty of a blasé attitude towards one-day cricket, quite the very opposite is true.
Director of Professional Cricket, Martyn Moxon, and coach, Jason Gillespie, have planned meticulously for the new campaign ever since the end of last season and the players have all been made aware of what their particular roles should be.
But Moxon admits that the plan so far is not clicking into place and that time will start to run out in the T20 unless things change rapidly. And that is where he hopes that Kane Williamson can help, starting with tomorrow’s (Friday’s) T20 Blast against Birmingham at Edgbaston.
“We are really looking forward to having Kane around for six weeks or so,” said Moxon. He is captain of New Zealand in all three formats and his career is going from strength to strength.
“We need a bit of a boost from somewhere, and having him around will hopefully give us that bit of experience and know-how. Quality overseas players are bound to make a difference to any side and it’s good timing that we have Kane coming in.”
We have to play better than we are at the minute if we are to qualify for the quarter-final stages of the competitionMartyn Moxon
On ways of improving Yorkshire’s poor showing so far, Moxon said: “We just need to bat better, that is the bottom line, and we hope that Kane’s quality and experience will rub off on to the other players and give them a bit of confidence in their own form.
“It isn’t too late yet to do well in the T20 but we cannot afford to lose many more matches. We have to play better than we are at the minute if we are to qualify for the quarter-final stages of the competition.”
It’s certainly not been the best of weeks for Yorkshire with Jack Brooks breaking down with a leg muscle injury which could keep him out for up to a month and young fast bowler Matthew Fisher suffering a second recurrence of a hamstring tear that he first picked up in pre-season.
A win at Edgbaston tomorrow with Williamson also to the fore would be exactly the sort of tonic that Yorkshire need.
See Kane Williamson in action
The Bears take on the Yorkshire Vikings this Friday and we’re delighted to be offering FREE admission for all Under 16s and if you purchase in our advanced sales window you’ll save £4 on your ticket ahead of our on the day ticket price. To secure your tickets please click here.