Lyth: ‘It’s time for me to play Test cricket’

Yorkshire's Adam Lyth celebrates winning the County Championship in 2014
Yorkshire's Adam Lyth celebrates winning the County Championship in 2014

After a stellar season with the bat in 2014, Whitby’s Adam Lyth feels the time is right for England to give him the chance to prove himself as a Test match cricketer.

With the Three Lions selectors due to announce the squad for April’s three-match series in the West Indies next month, the Yorkshire opener says that should he get a call-up, that it would be a “dream come true”.

Last season the former Caedmon School and Whitby Community College pupil amassed more than 1,000 runs in first-class cricket, smashing six hundreds and six fifties at an average of over 70.

His runs at the top of Yorkshire’s batting order laid the foundations for their first County Championship title in 13 years.

It is therefore no surprise that the left-hander, who recently signed a three-year contract extension with the Headingley club, is being widely tipped to open the batting in England’s next Test.

Speaking exclusively to The Whitby Gazette, Lyth said: “Obviously I’ve had a good couple of seasons with Yorkshire at first-class level and everyone wants to be test themselves against the world’s best.

“I feel like I’m good enough, I feel I’m ready now and it’s time for me to play international cricket.

“I’ve always backed my ability and mental strengths and I think I’m capable of doing very well in Test cricket.

“It’s out of my hands. I feel I’ve done enough but it is up to the selectors, the captain and the coach if they feel the time is right for me.

“Hopefully they will go with me, all I can do is keep scoring runs.”

Lyth recently returned from an England Lions tour of South Africa where he was given further opportunity to stake his claim for a place in the full Test side.

The trip began well for him with a century against a Gauteng Invitation XI in Soweto and he also made runs in the second of three games with South Africa A at Bloemfontein.

“It was nice to start the tour well with a hundred, the trip went quite well,” added Lyth.

“I felt I was playing well and I’m pleased with the way I was hitting the ball all trip.

“I felt fresh but my mind was still pretty much where I was last season.

“I was a bit disappointed to miss out at Paarl, which was fantastic batting pitch, but that’s cricket.

“In the following game at Bloemfontein I got 67 and 37. I would have liked a few more big scores but hopefully I did enough.”

Next on the agenda is a trip to Abu Dhabi with his county colleagues, where Lyth hopes to impress the man he is aiming to partner at the top of England’s Test match batting line-up.

Three Lions skipper Alastair Cook will be in the MCC side for the annual season-opening Champion County fixture and the opportunity to make an impression has not escaped Lyth’s attention.

“I’m looking forward to pre-season and to travelling to Abu Dhabi to play against MCC,” he said.

“I need to try and impress Alastair Cook.

“I like to think I’ve already done enough, but you never know what the selectors, captain and coach are thinking.

“Hopefully they will give me the nod to go to the West Indies, it would be a dream come true.”

Should the call not come then Lyth’s attentions will turn to continuing where he left off with the bat for Yorkshire last season.

After Jason Gillespie’s side won their first County Championship in 13 years, Lyth revealed that there is a huge appetite within the squad to secure more silverware.

“We’re looking forward to another strong season with Yorkshire and hopefully we can pick up a few trophies,” he continued.

“It had been 13 years since Yorkshire won a trophy so it was fantastic to do so last season, quite a lot of lads in the changing room hadn’t won anything before that.

“We have to take it one game at a time, but there’s no reason why we can’t compete on all three fronts.”

Hoping to break into that Yorkshire first-team squad this season and replicate the success that Lyth has enjoyed in county cricket is local starlet Ryan Gibson.

Lyth believes that the Staithes youngster has all the attributes required to forge a career in the professional game.

“Ryan has great potential,” Lyth added.

“He’s already played a few games for the first team and it would be nice if Ryan could establish himself, but it will be hard to get in with the side we’ve got.

“If he continues to work hard and put in good performances for second team and the Academy then hopefully he can force his way into the first team.”

Although his profession takes him all over the country and looks set to carry him even further afield in the coming years, Lyth retains deep roots in his hometown, for Whitby is a place that is close to his heart.

“I love Whitby, it’s always great to come back,” he said.

“I still live here with my wife and it is nice every time I have time off to be here and see my family and friends and spend time in the town.”