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Gillespie encouragement for Lyth
8:00am Thursday 26th April 2012 in Yorkshire CCC News
Batsman Adam Lyth is by no means Yorkshire's forgotten man.
The fluent left-hander, close to England selection as recently as late 2010, has been consigned to second-team action during the opening weeks of the county campaign.
He is behind Joe Root and Joe Sayers in the fight for a berth at the top of the order in the LV County Championship, and it was even reported by one source last week that he was set for a loan move away from Headingley.
Lyth will not be involved in Yorkshire's latest four-day match against Kent at Canterbury, which starts today.
Instead he has been watching the rain fall in Harrogate as Yorkshire's second string host Leicestershire in a three-day match.
But White Rose first-team coach Jason Gillespie has urged the Whitby-born player to keep his chin up, insisting that he will get his chance to impress.
"He won't be going on loan because he's an important member of our squad," said the Australian.
"Adam Lyth is just an unlucky guy. Phil Jaques has come over from Australia and is playing here, and unfortunately we just can't find room for him at the moment.
"There are a couple of guys who are very close, but you can only pick eleven. It's been really tough in terms of selection. I'm sure there'll be opportunities, as we've told him.
"I'm a big fan of his, and runs on the board will give him the best opportunity to get selected."
It is not just in the batting department where Gillespie and captain Andrew Gale have been left with some tough decisions, with fast bowlers Oliver Hannon-Dalby and Moin Ashraf also having to make do with second XI action.
With the prospect of Australian Test bowler Mitchell Starc arriving at Headingley next month, competition for places will only get fiercer.
"Performances on the board will demand selection. Say to the coach, say to the selectors 'right, I want to play, here's my performances'," continued Gillespie.
"Be your own best selector and demand a place in the team through performances. That's what we reiterate to all our players. Sometimes you're going to miss out, that's just the way it is unfortunately. But give yourself the best chance."
After topping 1,500 runs in 2010, the dip in Lyth's fortunes started last summer with a series of low scores.
Despite scoring 96 and 82 in pre-season matches at home and abroad last month, he has failed to break into the team.
He can count himself unfortunate that there will have been no one-day cricket in the first month of the season, a format which he could have used to stake a claim.
"That's crystal-balling things a bit," added Gillespie. "But the fact is that it's been Championship cricket, and this is the team we've gone with.
"I'm not saying that this is the team for the next month because professional cricket is a performance based sport. I'm sure Lythy will get opportunities."