Pyrah's praise for Lyth ahead of Pakistan Super League debut

Whitby’s Adam Lyth makes his Pakistan Super League debut this weekend with a ringing endorsement that he could play and excel in any domestic T20 league in the world.

Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 9:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 9:46 am
Whitby’s Adam Lyth has been handed a glowing reference ahead of his Pakistan Super League debut this weekend

That is the view of Yorkshire’s bowling coach Rich Pyrah, himself a T20 all-rounder of some repute during his playing days.

And that is very much how Pyrah views 33-year-old Lyth. An all-rounder.

Many will label the 2015 Ashes and two-time County Championship winner as an opening batsman, but he is much more than that.

“Add in to the way he bats, he’s one of the best fielders in the country and is a very, very canny off-spinner,” said Pyrah.

“Another very important attribute is the way he speaks to young players. He’s a real leader in that sense.”

Lyth has been signed on as a replacement player to represent the Multan Sultans in the play-off stages of the Pakistan competition delayed by Coronavirus in March.

Lyth has scored 2,934 runs from 122 career T20 appearances, taking 21 wickets with his off-spinners and pouching 62 catches and Pyrah reckons more should follow for a player who has had previous experience playing in the Bangladesh Premier League and the T10 League out in the United Arab Emirates.

“He’s always had the talent and quality, but this last two or three years he’s really worked his game out and is putting in consistent performances because of that,” Pyrah added.

“Whoever the bowler, seam or spin, he seems to be able to hit it 360 degrees, which makes him so hard to bowl at.

“You get people at the top of the order who are predominantly good against seam. But look at Lythy’s stats and he’s good against both seam and spin.

“For me, he’s consistently the best T20 opening batter, certainly in county cricket and probably beyond.”

He is Yorkshire’s all-time T20 leading run-scorer with 2,927 runs, is the English record holder for the highest individual score (161 – the fourth highest in the world) and is one of only seven men to have taken five wickets in an innings for Yorkshire. Pyrah is also one of those.

He added: “He hits all types of bowling all around the ground. He hits a little bit squarer than most because he’s a small lad with good quick hands, so he’s strong square over the leg-side and square over the off-side. He scores a lot of runs there (over the off-side), so they’ll drop it short and he’ll pull it for six. He’s so hard to bowl at.

“He doesn’t really change his set-up from white ball to red ball.

“He might stay a bit more leg-side in T20 and one-day cricket. That’s why he’s so consistent, because his game doesn’t change much. He’s such a natural hitter of the ball.

“He can hit on top of the bounce, can pull from back of a length.”

Pyrah doesn’t see a recall to the England set-up coming Lyth’s way any time soon, but the former Tykes all-rounder believes that factor should only add to his appeal to franchise T20 league across the world.

Pyrah added: “England are looking to build limited overs teams for the next 10-15 years, the likes of Tom Banton coming in. Dawid’s (Malan) not even in the one-day squad.

“They are bringing youth in to develop another team of this stature.

“So Lythy may struggle to break into that.

“That’s why I believe he would be so valuable to teams on the T20 circuit.

“Someone who is clearly of that class but isn’t involved will be available for all the Big Bash, all of the IPL at this time of year. I see it as a complete no brainer.

“He would definitely be one of the first names on my team-sheet if I was a coach in franchise cricket.”