YORKSHIRE'S opening partnership between Alex Lees and Adam Lyth has been compared to one of the all-time great alliances by their captain Andrew Gale.
Left-handers Lees and Lyth have turned heads with their performances against the new ball in the LV= County Championship and, most recently, the Royal London One-Day Cup.
They have shared partnerships of 375 and 270 in four-day matches against Northamptonshire and Durham, and on Tuesday they put on 195 in the one-day win against Northants at Wantage Road – the scene of that 375.
Lees scored his maiden List-A century (102) and Lyth added 84 as the Vikings secured a second Group A win out of three.
Ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Worcestershire at Headingley (10.30am), Gale said: “They are almost cementing a Matthew Hayden-Justin Langer type partnership.
“We call Alex Haydos! He’s a real bully the way he hits the ball, stands tall and hits the ball bloody hard when he hits it right.
“They are free-flowing players, they are both very driven, and I think they complement each other really well.
“Lees has come into his own this year off the pitch and become a vital part of the dressing room, becoming a voice, and Lyth has matured a lot over the last two years. He’s a senior player now.
“Lees is very focused and very driven and Lyth is a bit more laid back.”
Both players have been mentioned as future England openers.
Lyth was the first man in the Championship to pass 1,000 runs and was talked about extensively as a replacement for Alastair Cook in the Test team when he could not buy a run against Sri Lanka and, latterly, India.
Cook seems to be in better form heading into today’s fourth Test against India, but Gale believes his team-mates’ chances will come.
“I would hate to see them go, but I’m sure at some stage they are going to get the nod,” he added.
“The world is their oyster. It’s there for the taking, and there is probably no better time to be coming through in English cricket and trying to get an England place.”