ENGLAND LIONS batting coach Graham Thorpe has stressed the importance of Scarborough CC’s Adam Lyth staying true to his natural game as he looks to arrest a dip in form for Yorkshire.
Opening batsman Lyth, 23, was the county’s leading runscorer last season with 1.509 LV County Championship runs, and was the first man in the country to reach 1,000 runs in early June.
But he was dropped for the match against Sussex at Hove after a start to the season in which his four-day record reads: 35, 29 not out, 0, 26, 64, 1, 57, 52, 4, 4, 9, 39 and 14.
He averages 25.84 from his seven Championship matches so far compared to a season long average of 52.03 in 2010.
There is every chance that the Whitby born left-hander could boost his average in the latter half of the campaign. But to do that, he will have to eradicate the loose shots that have contributed to his downfall on a number of occasions.
Lyth’s form last season was rewarded with a call-up to the England Performance Programme squad that travelled to Australia before Christmas and then a call-up to the Lions squad that travelled to the Caribbean for two months in the New Year.
He would have worked extensively with former England and Surrey left-hander Thorpe, who said: “The biggest thing for him is to try and stay natural.
“He had a very good season with Yorkshire last season, and it’s a period he’s going to have to work through. I remember having a dodgy second season in my own career having had a good first one.
“The expectations of yourself can be higher as well. You haven’t got a lot to fall back on knowing that you’ve only had one good season. Reflecting on my own experiences, doubt can creep in. You have to really work hard to get through that period.
“But, if you can get through it, you can then start to understand why it happened.
“You should be in an immensely better place because every time you come through a bad period, you learn something.”
Thorpe continued: “Maybe last year some of those loose shots didn’t hit fielders.
“When you’ve only played one season, people don’t know much about you. But second time they do.
“It’s easy to talk about not getting down when you’re not playing because there are periods when it gets really tough. You can take it home with you as well.
“As a cricketer you have to work through these things.”