Yash Vagadia has described a recent 10-day batting camp in Mumbai as a “fantastic” experience for himself and five Yorkshire colleagues.
On Tuesday, Vagadia, Fin Bean, Harry Duke, George Hill, Will Luxton and James Wharton returned to Headingley from an Indian training trip led by assistant coach Ali Maiden and partly funded by the Yorkshire Supporters’ Association.
While the focus was on outdoor practice – something replicated by a small group of seamers in Dubai earlier last month – the group also took part in a 45-over fixture supplemented by local players.
“That was a really good standard,” explained Vagadia, the 18-year-old top order batter who signed his first rookie contract with the county in November.
“The purpose of it was that we’d done it on the last day of the trip to ensure we’d put into practice what we’d been working on for the previous nine days.
“We wanted to go out and put that work into a match scenario.
“It was one of those games where if you got out, you could come back in later on.
“Funnily enough, I came in at the end when we needed 60 or so and got run out. Nightmare. But I bowled 10 overs of my off-spin and took two for 40-odd. That was useful because there were some very good players of spin.”
Vagadia, a current Durham University student, continued: “It was fantastic, a really good trip. Personally, I got everything that I wanted to work on done. It was really intense but definitely worth it.
“My main aim was to work on my sweeps, reverse sweeps and playing against spin. I did a lot of that, working on my forward press and playing off the back foot. I’m feeling pretty confident now.
“India is an amazing place to go. Everyone is just obsessed with cricket. There were two or three grounds neighbouring ours, and they all had crowds watching them.”
Vagadia’s rookie deal was announced late last year on the same day as David Wiese was locked into an overseas contract for this summer’s Vitality Blast.
They are two cricketers at respective ends of the professional career path, with Vagadia’s journey just beginning following some impressive form in Academy, second-team and Premier League cricket for home club Hartlepool.
“To get a rookie contract was my goal last season,” continued the right-hander. “This was what I was working towards. It’s good I’ve got that, but there’s still miles to go. It’s just the start for me.”
Vagadia played six matches as the second team won last season’s Championship title, him contributing 362 runs and four half-centuries with a best of 87. One of his fifties came in the title-clinching draw against Kent at Folkstone in September.
“It was a really good summer,” he reflected.
“The Under 18s competition the Academy plays in didn’t start off how I’d want. There were a couple of unlucky dismissals, I played some bad shots. Then, towards the end of the season, I started scoring a lot of runs in the second team, the Under 18s and Hartlepool.”
That included a brilliant 179 not out opening the batting for Hartlepool in a huge North Yorkshire South Durham League win over Billingham Synthonia.
“That was my favourite game of the season, just thinking back now,” he smiled. “I loved that one.”
Vagadia has had a taste of first-team cricket before, playing in a pre-season friendly against Durham at Headingley ahead of 2021. He scored 49 opening the batting against an attack including Chris Rushworth, England Test quick Matty Potts and Brydon Carse.
“I’d say I’m an aggressive batter. In that game, I scored 40-odd against the red ball at a strike-rate of 70 or 80,” he reflected.
“You’re likely to see an aggressive style from me, especially against spin.
“It might have to change as I move up the levels against some top quality bowling, but for now I’d like to go at a high strike-rate.”
“And I’ll bat wherever the coaches want me to. I genuinely don’t have a preference in any format. As long as I’m playing, I don’t mind. Traditionally I’ve been an opener, but I’ve batted all around.”
And, as for summer goals, he added: “The perfect 2023 would involve a first-team debut. That, I would say, would most likely come in the One-Day Cup.
“If it was absolutely perfect, I would say a first-class debut as well. But that might be tough. I think it’s more realistic that I play in the 50-over competition.
“I also want to develop my bowling so I’m seen more as an all-rounder. That would be brilliant.”