The visit of champions Yorkshire to Edgbaston to launch Warwickshire’s home Specsavers County Championship campaign is a “mouth-watering” prospect, believes Bears director of cricket Dougie Brown.
After starting the season with two draws away to Hampshire and Middlesex, the Bears return to home turf tomorrow with a stern test against the side which has emphatically won the title in the last two years.
It is a mouth-watering game to start the home season with YorkshireDougie Brown, Director of Cricket
Yorkshire have had a firm hold on the Bears in recent seasons. Since the White Rose returned to Division One in 2013, of six championship meetings, two have been drawn and Yorkshire have won the other four, three by an innings and one by 174 runs.
So Warwickshire will look to start redressing that balance as they seek to build on a solid foundation which has brought them 23 points from drawn games at the Ageas Bowl and Lord’s.
“It is a mouth-watering game to start the home season with,” Brown said. “Yorkshire have been worthy champions in the last two years and our recent record against them is not good so that is something we are looking to improve.
“They are a strong outfit but then wherever you look in Division One now there are strong sides. It is a very high standard of cricket.
“We will go into the game with confidence after two draws in both of which at one stage we created potentially winning positions.
“Against Hampshire, we had the opposition under real pressure but unfortunately lost a lot of time to rain. At Lord’s we started slowly but then fought back really well to get ourselves into a position whereby a golden morning on the last day could have brought us victory.
“Now we are really looking forward to the Yorkshire match. It’s the sort of game that any player wants to play in and should be a great one to watch with a lot of players who have played for England and also some who haven’t quite made that step up yet but are very very good.”
It’s the sort of game that any player wants to play inDougie Brown, Director of Cricket
Warwickshire hope to have a full squad from which to choose as they continue to monitor the injuries which kept Chris Woakes (knee) and Boyd Rankin (side) out of the Middlesex match.
The Bears have not beaten Yorkshire in the championship since 2011 when an innings-and-58-run win at Headingley advanced them towards runners-up spot in the final table and shunted their opponents towards relegation.
Chris Wright, on his debut, and Keith Barker shared 15 wickets in the match, Wright taking five for 31 in the second innings.
Warwickshire’s bowling options have, of course, increased after wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose took off the gloves to show his quality by dismissing Adam Voges in the drawn game at Lord’s. Ambrose cleverly inveigled the Australian (Test batting average: 95.50) into sending up a catch to deep mid-wicket – but is likely to be back behind the stumps against Yorkshire.
“I don’t think we will hear the last of that from Amby,” said Brown. “I don’t think the guys who had been running in all day on a flattening pitch could believe it!”