Ian Baker - Gale is knocking on the England door
21 Apr 2010 - 09:20:50
Herbert Sutcliffe, Len Hutton, Geoffrey Boycott, Michael Vaughan. Yorkshire have always provided England with decent quality batsmen. They may well be coming up trumps again.
The latest name is Andrew William Gale. After only two seasons as a White Rose regular, Gale, 27, became the youngest Yorkshire captain since the war when he took charge at the beginning of the season.
Gale has taken just two games to lead by example with 101 and 64 not out to help Yorkshire beat Somerset in the second Championship match of the season at Headingley.
And after a winter spent skippering England's Lions in UAE, he is surely knocking firmly on the door of the full squad.
There is certainly a vacancy there for Test squad. Michael Carberry failed to take his chance in Bangladesh and unless he scores big runs at the start of the season may well be a one-cap wonder. Jonathan Trott remains hopelessly out of form with three single-figure scores in the County Championship since his return from England's winter tours.
Gale could just be the man to creep in. A cool, calm character, capable of big runs, and knowing the balance between defence and attack, Gale's leftiness could provide the right balance to the middle order.
England probably need to insist that Kevin Pietersen moves up to No.3 in the batting order regardless of whom they pick in terms of personnel.
It's certainly an important summer for England in the Test arena despite a mass of Twenty20 and 50-over cricket on the agenda.
Bangladesh and a weakened Pakistan side will hardly provide a stern test. Which suggests a little bit of experimentation along the way certainly will not do any harm at all ahead of the winter's biggie down under.
Whilst the likes of potential rivals for a place in the Test side, Michael Lumb, Ravi Bopara and Eoin Morgan look forward to the Twenty20 World Cup starting at the end of next week, there is ample opportunity for the likes of Gale to stake their claims in the longer form of the game back home.
Gale has a chance to seize the moment after apparently been groomed for an England role. Now, it's over to him.
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