JORDAN Thompson is epitomising Yorkshire’s fighting qualities at present, something which has not gone unnoticed by coaches and team-mates.

The rapidly improving all-rounder from Pudsey St Lawrence continues to have a significant influence on the White Rose’s fortunes.

He was their standout player in last season’s Bob Willis Trophy, scoring 234 runs and taking 15 wickets from five matches - his breakthrough campaign.

This season, the 24-year-old, after missing the first week with a calf injury, he has built on that form with 12 wickets and 112 runs in three County Championship appearances.

It is no coincidence the White Rose have won all of them, with a fourth on the bounce the aim when Kent visit Emerald Headingley tomorrow.

“Jordan’s exactly what I want from a Yorkshire cricketer. When the chips are down, he puffs his chest out and gets stuck in,” said coach Andrew Gale.

“It’s the reason I got him straight into the team.

“Since Dave Willey and Tommo came in, we’ve looked a different team. They’re impact players.

“In that first game against Glamorgan, I thought we were a little bit nice as a team.

“I think we all know how I played my cricket, so I didn’t want us to be nice.

“I obviously don’t want us to cross the line, but I want the opposition to know they’re in for a game when they play against Yorkshire. Dom Bess can be a bit fiery, Dave, Tommo. They play the game hard but fair.

“Jordan hasn’t played that much in the grand scheme of things. He only played that one season last year, but he looks like he’s played 30 or 40 first-class games.”

Thompson has taken the new ball at stages in the last two matches against Sussex at Hove and Northamptonshire at Headingley.

“I’ll do whatever I need to do for the team because I just want the best outcome,” he said. “I’m going to get it wrong at times, but more often than not I hope I’ll get it right.”

Dubbed the Yorkshire Terrier by a couple of media outlets during the Northants game, Thompson laughed: “You can call me what you want, I don’t mind!

“I’ve got a few nicknames flying around in the dressing room. I get called 'The Lizard' quite a lot. Apparently that’s something to do with the length of my tongue.

“It’s a load of rubbish really. The lads just enjoy calling me random stuff.”

That joviality will be put to one side at 11am tomorrow when Yorkshire will go in search of a fourth successive victory.

They will be helped out in that pursuit by England captain Joe Root, who is available once more after a week’s rest.

Second-placed Yorkshire’s three wins and a draw from four games gives them an identical record to Group Three leaders Lancashire, who have accrued six more bonus points.

The aim is to finish in the top two places after 10 games in order to qualify for the four-game top group in late August and through September, giving you a shot at winning the Championship title and the Bob Willis Trophy.

With only four games played in the second phase, it means you play everyone else but the team you advanced with.

At the moment, that would be Lancashire, given Yorkshire are currently a commanding 25 points clear of Sussex in third.

But there is a carrying forwards of points.

That is worked out on half the aggregate of points in first phase matches played between those top two counties in each group, heightening the importance of forthcoming fixtures at Emirates Old Trafford and Scarborough.

However, there are still games against Kent at home and Glamorgan away next week to come before Yorkshire travel across the Pennines on May 27.

Captain Steve Patterson added: “We’re going to be confident because we’ve won three games in a row. It’s a special achievement. But there’s a lot of work still to be done. We know that - we’re not silly.”

Kent are bottom of Group Three having lost three and drawn one. They were beaten inside two days by Glamorgan last week.

The team news was announced this morning, and Willey has been rested for the game after a significant workload in the last three County Championship matches.

Ben Coad returns to the squad after recovering from a shoulder injury, while Matthew Fisher and Matthew Waite are playing for the 2nd XI in Essex as they step up their recoveries from their respective injuries.


Gary Ballance
Dom Bess
Harry Brook
Ben Coad
Tom Kohler-Cadmore
Adam Lyth
Duanne Olivier
Steve Patterson (Captain)
Mat Pillans
Joe Root
Jonny Tattersall (Wicketkeeper)
Jordan Thompson