Yardy feeds off Twenty20 success
Michael Yardy will continue to draw on his confidence as an ICC World Twenty20 winner - and insists there are no “scars” from his last experience against Australia.
The Sussex all-rounder’s miserly left-arm spin was a telling factor in England’s triumphant Caribbean campaign, and he was in the team that beat Australia in the Bridgetown final a month ago.
He must nonetheless have gone to bed with slightly mixed feelings on that famous day, after his final over had disappeared for 21 runs, including two fours and two sixes.
Paul Collingwood unsurprisingly took Yardy out of the attack, and the last of his allocated four overs was bowled instead by county colleague Luke Wright.
Cameron White, who hit Yardy’s last three balls for four, six and four, will be in opposition again when England take on Australia in five NatWest Series one-day internationals over the next two weeks.
The selectors, however, have kept the faith by picking Yardy for 50-over as well as 20-over cricket - and he is confident his World Twenty20 experience, including the White mauling, has helped make him a better player.
“I don’t personally feel there are any scars,” he said. “If someone gets hold of you, they get hold of you. The next day, you make sure you learn from it and pick up what you can do better - and move on.
“I definitely learned from it. I pride myself on my decision-making but I think, to a certain extent, I got a few things wrong then.
“But I think one significant (bad) over in a period of seven games is something to be quite happy with. I would probably have taken that before the tournament.”
Yardy’s Twenty20 exploits have helped put him in the frame as the second spinner England will surely need at next year’s sub-continental World Cup.
He is delighted to have hit the heights he has for his country - and would dearly love plenty more - but is too canny to do anything but bowl, and bat, in the present.
“Three months ago, I must admit the World Twenty20 wasn’t quite on my radar; Division Two championship was on the radar more than that,” he admitted.
“It’s a special achievement, and I can finish my career knowing I’ve done that.
“I’m not satisfied yet - I still want to achieve a lot more in the game - but to have won a lot of trophies with Sussex and now have a ‘World Cup’ Twenty20 winner’s medal is very, very special.”
It is up to others, meanwhile, to ink or pencil him in as Graeme Swann’s one-day spin twin.
Yardy added: “I think, whether I’m being teed up (for the World Cup) or not, the key thing now is that if I don’t put in performances in the next few weeks that can all change anyway.
“Those other kind of things take care of themselves. I think if you look too far ahead it all seems to catch up with you.
“I’ll just work on my game now. If that takes me to a World Cup, brilliant. If it doesn’t, then I’ve had a great go at it and really enjoyed playing for England.
“I’ve been picked for what I do for Sussex and what I did in the World Twenty20. It’s now up to me to prove the selectors right. I need to make sure I don’t just bowl well but bat well too.”