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Lancashire CCC

Ryan McLaren looks ahead to Yorkshire clash

Ryan McLaren looks ahead to Yorkshire clash

Ryan McLaren looks ahead to Yorkshire clash

Ryan McLaren has no qualms about taking on the added responsibility of leading Lancashire’s bowling attack in their Specsavers County Championship match against Yorkshire at Headingley this weekend.

Overseas all-rounder McLaren will be the senior man in an attack missing at least new ball seamers Jimmy Anderson and Kyle Jarvis through injury.

Jordan Clark is a possible returnee to the Red Rose line-up for the second of back-to-back Roses clashes having missed last weekend’s draw at Emirates Old Trafford with a back problem.

South African McLaren says the extra responsibility is “nothing foreign” to him, and he will be hoping to continue his impressive start to the new season across the Pennines from Friday. McLaren has so far taken 14 wickets from four matches, more than any other Lancashire bowler, while he has also scored 159 runs, including 84 against the White Rose.

“It's something that I've done, be it in county cricket or back in South Africa,” he said. “I've had to lead attacks for quite a long time now. It's nothing new or different.

“I've been on the other side of it when I've got hurt and other guys have had to take on the workload. It's part of bowling. In terms of responsibility and taking leadership, it's nothing foreign.”

Despite McLaren’s healthy start to the four-day campaign, contributing to Lancashire’s unbeaten start of three draws and a win, the former international is not completely happy. “In one-day cricket, it was extremely frustrating and disappointing from a bowling point of view, personally,” he explained.

“The standards that I'd set myself, I felt like I'd let the team down in a certain way. It was a really frustrating few weeks.

“To come back in the four-day game and bowl the way I did, I was pretty pleased (2-60 from 30.3 overs in the first innings against Yorkshire).

“With a bit more luck here and there, I could have had a few more wickets. But that's part of the game. There are other games where you will bowl a lot worse and end up with five-for. I'm pretty happy.”

The two sides are expected to encounter a livelier pitch than the one they were presented with at Old Trafford, with Yorkshire confident of extending a near six-year unbeaten run in county cricket’s standout fixture.

“With the coin toss rule, it's naturally made wickets better for batting,” added McLaren. “Getting 20 wickets in a game has been pretty tough.

“It's about being mentally sharp and strong, showing a lot of character and keeping that consistency from a bowling point of view. Firstly to stay competitive and, secondly, when that opportunity comes when the conditions do suit, you're really up for it and take them.

“At the end of the day, that's what wins you Championship matches, taking 20 wickets.”

Lancashire will also be without batsman Liam Livingstone due to England Lions duty for their one-day series against South Africa A.

Lancashire sit fourth in the table and six points clear of Yorkshire in fifth. The Red Rose are 17 points behind early pacesetters Essex with a game in hand.

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