FORMER England captain Michael Vaughan is backing Andrew Gale to bring the good times back to Yorkshire cricket.
First-team coach Gale captained Yorkshire to back-to-back County Championships in 2014 and 2015 and to a third-placed finish in 2016.
Now he is managing what Vaughan describes as a period of transition, a task not helped by the fact that Gale routinely loses players to England duty and, this year, to the Indian Premier League.
“You feel for Andy Gale,” said Vaughan, “because he loses some of his players.
“But I’ve been in and around the ranks and he’s doing a fine job.
“He’ll be absolutely fine over the next few years.”
You’ve got to understand that the club is going through a little transition.Michael Vaughan
Yorkshire, who today embark on their Vitality Blast T20 campaign, have had a mixed season to date.
They reached the semi-finals of the Royal London Cup but have dropped into the County Championship relegation zone, albeit with plenty of time to turn things around and, theoretically, with more top players available to them in the season’s second half.
“You’ve got to understand that the club is going through a little transition,” added Vaughan.
“A lot of the England players have been missing, a lot of players taken out due to the IPL like Liam Plunkett. Then you lose (Matthew) Fisher and (Tom) Kohler-Cadmore to the Lions programme.
“Yorkshire are still doing a wonderful job providing England with cricketers; that’s the main thing.
“That’s what county cricket is there for, to provide England with better cricketers, and Yorkshire has done that for many, many years.”
Two of those players, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, will be in action in England’s five-Test series against India that starts on August 1.
Vaughan, the most successful captain in England’s Test history, with 26 wins from 51 matches in charge, is expecting a fascinating battle.
“I would think that England will be favourites in the UK,” he said. “The weather will be nice for the Indian side because the wickets should be drier and you would think will spin a little bit more than maybe if we’d had a normal English summer.
“But, on home soil, England always start as favourites against any opposition, and that’s no different here.”
Vaughan believes England’s greatest challenge is to achieve consistency.
“They’re inconsistent, and they’ve just got to find that consistency,” he said. “That’s just concentration and being willing to do sometimes the boring things for that little bit longer.
“That’s what they did against Pakistan at Headingley, but they didn’t do that against Pakistan at Lord’s.”
Vaughan went on: “I think the India series will be a good test for them.
“India generally don’t win here, or haven’t the last couple of times, but with Virat Kohli in their ranks, you know that’s going to be a real threat. It’s going to be a great series to watch.”
One man hoping to continue his good form from the recent Pakistan series is Jos Buttler, who was picked on the basis of his IPL success.
“I don’t mind how players get selected as long as they’re good enough,” said Vaughan.
“That’s down to the selectors to decide whether the player is good enough on character, ability, technique, mindset.
“I’m not one for ‘he has to be picked because he has played x amount of games’.
“Selectors have got to pick the right players, and I really don’t care where they’ve come from as long as they’re quality and they’ve got the right attributes.”
Michael Vaughan was speaking after becoming a shareholder in Leeds-based cricket shoe business Payntr.