Alex Lees column
I’ve had a couple of good knocks in the practice games for Yorkshire in the last couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to the season really getting going now.
I was seeing it well in our three-day match at Northampton last week and when that happens you have to capitalise. It was a shame I didn’t get a few more but a hundred gives you confidence going into the first game, which started for us against Somerset today.
It was a massive blow for us losing Jonny Bairstow to a broken finger because he’s a great batsman and a very good wicketkeeper. Fortunately we have quality back-up in Andrew Hodd, who I’m sure will do a great job for us.
In think it would be fair to say that I have more self-confidence going into this summer, having gained more experience of playing games at a higher level.
As a young player, one of the biggest learning tools for me throughout my career so far has been the players around me. I’ve learned a lot from my team-mates both at Yorkshire and with the England Performance Programme and Lions.
With that in mind, I’m hoping to be able to learn from our two overseas signings this summer, Kane Williamson and Aaron Finch.
They are two high-quality, proven international batsmen with contrasting styles and hopefully I’ll pick up bits from both of them to help me improve my game.
Like everyone else, I’m obviously very excited to see how Finch goes in the Twenty20. He had a great winter for Australia in one-day and Twenty20 cricket against England.
Kane, as well, had a very good World Twenty20 tournament with New Zealand recently.
My main aim this year, from a personal point of view, is to make sure I cement my place in Yorkshire’s first team after only playing a handful of County Championship games last year.
I know there’s a lot of talk about there being England spots up for grabs this summer but I can’t afford to take my eye off the ball with Yorkshire because we have such a strong squad here and I could be playing second-team cricket if I do.
If you have a couple of poor games, there could be somebody who gets a couple of hundreds in the seconds and will be ready to take your place.