Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale is considering leaving himself out of Sunday’s LV= County Championship match against Middlesex at Lord’s with England’s Joe Root set to return.
Gale revealed the news after today's innings and 120-run win over Northamptonshire at Headingley, which was completed just before lunch on day four.
Root is currently playing in a second XI Roses match in a bid to prove his fitness, having broken his right thumb on England duty in the West Indies last month.
His return leaves Gale and first-team coach Jason Gillespie with one heck of a selection dilemma because everybody else but Gale in Yorkshire’s top six has runs under their belt.
It was thought the call would be between openers Adam Lyth and Alex Lees, who got 90 in the first innings here. Lyth scored two half-centuries in the draw against Somerset last week.
But Gale has thrown his own name forward after three low scores at Taunton and against Northants.
“There are a few selection issues,” said the left-hander. “I haven’t thought too much about it, but I’m obviously the one who hasn’t got any runs over the last three games. Do I leave myself out or not? It’s a decision myself, Jason and Martyn Moxon have to make.
“I said last year I was fine with leaving myself out for the sake of the team, but my record as captain speaks for itself.
“Someone is going to get left out who doesn’t deserve to. If you are playing in a Championship- winning side, that’s what happens.
“I think it would be a brave decision, but it would also send a good message to the squad that if you’re in the runs, you deserve your place in the side no matter who you are.
“I have had three knocks this season, and I didn’t have a pre-season (due to a hip injury). It was always going to be tough coming out of the blocks without playing a single game since January when I was in Australia.
“I still feel all right. I felt in worse touch at the same stage last season.”
Should Gale take that decision, Gary Ballance will almost certainly lead the side at Lord’s.
Northants, who started day four on 145-4 in their second innings, were bowled out for 245 having been asked to follow-on.
Steve Patterson struck twice today, but Jack Brooks finished with 3-76 in the innings to contribute to career-best match figures of 8-112. Yorkshire claimed 23 points from their first win of 2014.
* Joe Root made a short-lived return to the crease for Yorkshire's Second XI today after seven weeks out with a broken thumb.
The 23-year-old managed just eight against Lancashire's second string before he was caught behind off former Zimbabwe seamer Kyle Jarvis.
Root broke his thumb while making a century for England in a one-day international against the West Indies on March 5, which subsequently ruled him out of the World Twenty20.
The right-hander had hoped to step up his return in the match at Northop Hall in north Wales, but was denied significant time in the middle as Yorkshire crashed to 99-9.
Jarvis did the majority of the damage as he returned 6-42. Lancashire had earlier made 427-7 declared in their first innings.
Root lost his Test place at the end of the 5-0 Ashes winter whitewash, but after his good form in the Caribbean, will have pencilled in a return for England in the season-opening one-day international against Scotland on May 9.