JASON GILLESPIE has backed Adam Lyth to make the step up to Test cricket if called upon after scoring his fifth LV= County Championship century of the season yesterday to put Yorkshire on course for a Roses win at Emirates Old Trafford.
At the halfway stage of this clash, the Division One leaders are in complete control of their 14th match of the season at 396-5 from 115 overs in reply to 278.
Lyth underpinned Yorkshire’s total with a composed 182 not out off 318 balls with 17 fours and a six, and he shared century partnerships for the fourth and sixth wickets with Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid, who were both aggressive for 60 and 44 unbeaten respectively.
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Lyth’s hundred, his second in Roses cricket and his second above 150 this year, was the perfect example of how to bat on a pitch which is good for batting even though there is assistance for seam and spin bowlers alike.
Lancashire’s innings involved too many soft dismissals, yet Lyth never looked like giving his wicket away even though he offered a very tough chance low down to Paul Horton at slip off Stephen Parry’s left-arm spin on 57.
Having passed 1,000 Championship runs for the season, the 26-year-old left-hander reached 6,000 first-class career runs when he got to 38 yesterday morning.
Lyth was talked about as an option to replace Alastair Cook at the top of England’s order and that subject might be revisited again next April with Sam Robson’s place not certain for a tour to the West Indies.
With England set for a winter of entirely one-day cricket in preparation for the World Cup, it is likely Alex Hales will come to the fore and be talked about at length. Lyth, however, has done all he can to be seriously considered.
“I think he’s ready now,” said first-team coach Gillespie. “If England’s selectors come knocking, he won’t let them down. I think he’s good enough. He’s putting performances on the board, and you can’t be ignored forever.
“This is one of Adam’s best knocks, certainly from what I’ve seen. I think he’s shown he’s been able to adapt to different situations and conditions and play accordingly.”