YORKSHIRE’s director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon is hoping the door is not closed on Adam Lyth and Gary Ballance as he backed them to return to international cricket.
After jumping to the defence of Yorkshire duo Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid in the face of intense criticism of their performances in the recent Test series against Pakistan, most notably from former England captain Bob Willis, Yorkshire boss Moxon has also thrown his weight behind their county colleagues Lyth and Ballance as they battle to return to the highest level.
Both batsmen lost their Test places last summer, with Lyth axed after scoring only 115 runs in the five Tests against Australia despite starting his Test career so promisingly with a hundred in only his second game against New Zealand at the start of the summer.
Ballance’s joy at becoming the third-fastest England player to 1,000 Test runs in the spring soon turned to despair when he was dropped after the second Ashes Test in July following a run of low scores.
“I hope that the door isn’t closed on Lythy, and also that Gary can return to Test cricket,” said Moxon.
“With Lythy, history says that when he’s gone up a level, it’s taken him a while to adjust to that rise in standard and he’s kind of almost gone backwards to go forwards again.
“In county cricket, it took him a long time to nail it, and he’s had some very inconsistent seasons in his career.
“It was only in 2014, really, when he absolutely nailed it, so it’s taken him time to really find his feet.
“Will he be given that time again in Test cricket?
“England have to make that judgement.
“But would he do worse than anybody else?
“Moeen Ali hasn’t done any better than him as an opener, I think it’s fair to say, and what Lythy has done is shown that he’s capable of getting a hundred in Test cricket.”
As for Ballance, Moxon feels he also has much to offer to England going forward.
“Gary has shown that he’s capable of scoring runs at the highest level, so I’m hoping that he’ll be back sooner rather than later,” he said.
“He is another outstanding young batsman and I definitely feel that he’s got all the qualities.
“Clearly players lose form, and I’m not saying that our lads are immune to being dropped by England.
“But there are certain players that have been given a longer run than others, shall we say, and have had a bit more faith shown in them.”
Moxon is encouraged by what he has heard so far from Trevor Bayliss, the new England coach.
Moxon believes the Australian will start to make more of a mark on the team now that his honeymoon period is over.
“I’d like to think that Trevor Bayliss, now he’s got his feet under the table a little bit and he’s seen people performing, will judge who he thinks is worth persevering with,” said Moxon.
“With any coach, it’s going to take time to get to know the players, to see what they can do and make an assessment, and I think he’s going through that period at the minute.
“I’m sure that he will back the players that he wants going forward.”