Wednesday, 19 November 2008

NZ vs Aust - Gabba - The Day Before

The day before the start of the biggest series of my career;  they always are, the next one is always more important than the last.

Training wasn't until two this afternoon so that left us with some free time this morning.  Brisbane isn't quite as 'pretty' as Sydney, but nice enough all the same.  And the rain stopped for today.  Up for a chat with my wife early then off to breakie for one of the best selections of food in the morning, anywhere.  Two words, Great breakfast. Catch up with a few lads over a 'flat white' during breakie and then make some plans for the morning.  Pretty simple one really, let go for a walk and a shop.  A wonder and a squander.  

I'm forever on the hunt for the perfect pair of jeans.  I had a pair, and they have now past their best date even after I've patched them twice.  So, it was another new pair of jeans for me today; and I might have just found them.  It is possibly the toughest challenge that faces the whole male race.  To get in and get out with a great pair of jeans in under 10 mins.  I pretty much achieved that today.  Very happy.

Lunch was sushi, great selection at the food court that is 5 mins walk from the hotel.   Back to the hotel and I get a phone call from the NZ Cricket President, not the normal call.  He was bringing over the first 'prototype' of my underwear.  Popped up to see him, quick chat, and you don't want to get caught talking stats with this man.  He is a walking almanac of cricket knowledge.  So I try to keep the chat about the last trip to Bangers, rather than about numbers.  He's a good man, but I don't want to look like I know nothing about cricket history; which I don't really!!  And plus I had to get back to my room for a noon phone call from Radio Sport NZ for an interview.

The underpants are close, not quite right, but not far away.  A great first up pair.  

So, off to training at 1.15pm.  We get there, Dan has media to do, and we have about a hundred bats to sign.  This doesn't really take that long, it's just not easy signing bats.  They don't just sit still on the table.  They need a flat back, that would make it so much easier!  That takes 10 mins or so, straight out onto the park.  We were out here yesterday for a bit, the Gabba.  A concrete jungle with seats that are all different colours.  This makes seeing, while they're empty, the cricket ball pretty hard.  We'll see how full it gets tomorrow and how the 'seeing' is then.  Yesterday, in the drizzle, we just had a little bowl on the outfield to get used to being out there, the 'slippers' did some catching and then it was indoors to bat.  Today, with the sun out, we did quite a lot of fielding, a lot of catching and just making sure we pick the ball up early.  You just can't take picking up the ball for granted.  It'll be a real concentration issue.  Then out the back to the nets.  A little grassy and the batters, quite wisely, asked for older balls from the bowlers.  A broken finger in training just isn't worth it, and that's what a new 'pill' can do on this kind of track.  I bowled about four overs, as I always do the day before a match.  I even had it swinging quite a bit today.  Hopefully that sticks around for the match, for me anyway!  Body feels good, mind is in a great position and am really excited about tomorrows start of the Test.  

Little bit of work from the physio after training on my ankle and then back to the hotel.  Rush hour traffic in Bris wasn't great.

Straight onto the massage table to work out some sore(ish) calves and my tight pec muscles.  I did some bench press the other day at the gym, and the muscles are still a little sore.  But, I'll be fine by tomorrow! 

Tonights Cap Presentation was very good.  Brian McKechnie presented tonight.  An ex All Black and NZ One Day Cricketer, and also an ex NZ Cricket selector.   He was the man that faced the 'underarm delivery.'  A nice piece of symmetry here to.  He was the man that rang me to tell me I was in my first test squad vs Australia way back in '05.  And now he's presenting me my cap for my next effort against our closest rivals.

Out for a meal with a couple of the guys, there's not many to go out with any more as a lot of the partners and wives are here (for the shopping I think!!).

And now, it's time to do my scouting.  I have enough footage of these guys to watch till around next Thursday, I'll pick out a couple of batters that I want to concentrate on and watch the video footage of them and look for bits and pieces we can use.  

Tomorrow is a big day.  I can't wait.  Our personal Everest!


Anonymous said...

You sir are the man.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful blog Iain, and congratulations to the Black Caps on a well played first day against Aus, keep it up!

Dave said...