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Lyth has a positive response
ANDREW GALE has hailed Adam Lyth’s response to being given a kick up the backside by his Yorkshire team-mates.
The left-handed opener signed a new contract until December 2015 last month following suggestions he was interesting County Championship leaders Durham.
The 25-year-old from Whitby is known as fluent a batsman as there is in the county game when on song. But his strength can often be his downfall.
He got to 95 before playing needlessly outside off-stump against Luke Fletcher and getting caught behind against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge last month.
He then flashed hard outside off and was superbly caught in the slips by Ben Stokes off Chris Rushworth early in the first innings of the defeat against Durham at Scarborough.
But the ex-England Lions man showed a different side of his game in last week’s draw against Sussex at Hove, batting patiently for 93 off 205 balls in the first innings before reaching 40 not out in the second innings when rain scuppered the visitors’ chance of victory.
Second-placed Yorkshire head into today’s meeting with Middlesex at Headingley knowing they have to win to take the title race into the season’s last week.
They are 27.5 points behind Durham with two matches left.
Gale said: “The players talk to each other about how they can improve their games, and I think a few of the other lads have been disappointed by the fashion in which Lythy’s given his wicket away.
“They’ve let that be known to him. But he’s got his head down now, and he’s switched on. I’m really pleased with the way he’s gone about his business. He’s probably felt under a little bit of pressure for his spot with Alex Lees doing so well and breathing down his neck.
“That’s the way we want him to play. He can’t go out and play at one pace as he has done in previous matches and play big booming drives. He’s got to wait until he’s in, then he can start to express himself.”
Lyth has scored 702 runs from 14 matches this season, including one hundred and four fifties. He is Yorkshire’s fourth leading run-scorer.
There is still of room for improvement though, and a prolific last fortnight of the season will build his confidence ahead of 2014.
Although Yorkshire’s title hopes look bleak, Gale insists they will not give up the fight.
“There’s often a twist in the tail, so you never can tell.
We’ve got two games left, and we think we can win them,” he added.
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