No nerves, no pressure, just belief. Take each ball on its individual merit and knock them off. You have 2 days to do this in, it can be done.
Watch the ball onto the bat, cover your stumps and FFS get your feet moving and get forward. Run hard but run sensible.
Play it or wear it - fear nothing!
Ultimately, beat the f**kers - they're not the team they once were, go out there and prove it.
I'm staying up all night mate, i'll be hitting every ball with you boys."
An email I received from a mate early in the morning before heading down to the ground. I thought it was one of those messages that would share with you all. It's pretty much the chat we had the night before in the changing room and the one I was having with myself all night and the following morning. It sums things up really well.
A pity then that we didn't get close. Didn't even look like getting close on Day four. Needing 184 with 4 in hand was virtually a miracle task. And you don't to often get two of those in two days. With our Rugby League boys becoming World Champions, defeating the very, very heavily favored Australian team, the previous night, I guess it was just asking to much for two in 24 hours.
Loosing by 149 in a game that we took 20 Australian wickets for less that 480 runs feel really bad. I knew it was going to be a massive ask going into Day 4, but you always keep hope. It did really sink in though once I was out and had got back into the changing room. Like a truck it hit me, I felt angry again, I really wanted to throw my kit around (I'm not a gear thrower at all), I wanted to kick holes in walls (I'm really not like that at all), I wanted to punch holes in the shower doors (again, not me) and I really felt drained of energy and emotions. I spent some time, alone, wondering around the shower area, really trying to calm myself down, trying to not be so angry, getting myself back together to face the rest of my team, and then soon after, shake the hands of the Australians. a) I was angry to get out like that, I have been working really hard on my batting b) I really hate loosing c) This was a massive chance to win a test, create history and 'climb our personal Everest.' I guess, it'll have to happen in Adelaide.
We lost Dan in the 7th over of the day, and then Rossco in the next over from Johnson. That meant I was in. I had had a really good 'net' in the morning with our batting coach, he fed the bowling machine and helped me with (quite) a few things. All simple stuff that would help out in the middle. I asked for the bowling machine to be 'cranked' up, in order to try to get used to the pace that will be coming at me in the middle. Shit it was quick. To go with the not so good viewing in the indoor nets, it was quite hard work, and I was honestly worried for my health and well being. Not as worried as I was going to be out in the middle though. So, I'm in, Mitchell Johnson with the ball in hand. I lasted one quick ball from him in the first innings. First ball, quick, full, and I defend it. Next ball, bouncer, oh shit, I hate bouncers, I duck it, and get under it well. I stood straight back up and stared straight back at Johnson. I wasn't go to show him nothing. "Whatever pal, you can bowl quick, but I'm not taking a backward step." That was a thought of course, I wasn't going to start to get into verbals with them. Next ball, I just didn't pick it up till quite late, I start to get out of the way of it, it hits me, takes a little of the numerous pieces of protection I've got on, my chest guard, and takes quite a bit of chest. My left tit to be precise. That hurt, and not how I wanted to play it. But I turned around, stared at him again, I really wasn't going to show him anything. I was in this for the fight. Another one at the body, fuller this time, I should have got some bat on it down to fine leg, it hits my thigh pad and drops to the man in close. The full ball follows, I'm all over this one. Beats mid off and I'm running like the wind. I'm sure there's four there, and maybe four overthrows there too if we do it right!!?? I turn for the fourth, the throw is already in the air. Just can't risk it. That was the last ball of the over, I'm going to have to face Clark.
I leave the first one, maybe a little dangerous as he's claimed two wickets to leaves in this innings already. It sails past off stump. Next ball, fullish, and I'm through my shot, spoon it weakly out to point. How damn weak was that. I thought I got myself into a good position to hit it for at least one. It's not till I see the replays on the news later that I realise it was a slower ball. Maybe I need to get my eyes checked. I really didn't pick up on it, and I'm actually normally pretty good with picking up on them; sure hitting them is a slightly different story, but normally I pick up on the wrist or finger change at delivery. Not this time.
Tim hits a couple of 'homers' and the game is all over very soon after.
Shake hands with them, sit in the changing room contemplating this test loss. Lunch is served soon after, we all filter through to sit there and eat somberly. Soon after we head back to the hotel. It's only midday, what to do with the rest of the day? I organise with Howza, Rossco and our fitness trainer to get to the gym at 4.30. So some time on the bed watching Prison Break (series four) on the computer, a quick nap and then up to the gym for a strength session. It was a toughie too. I wanted to get it out of the way early so that I can have a couple of full days off to recover from the bowling loads in this match. Organise with Howza a curry for the evening, I send out a group txt and a group of nine went out for a quite curry and a couple of cheeky reds. Great curry, good company and our moods are coming around. I think the couple of wines we had before we left helped too!
And that's the end of this Test Match blog. Stay tuned for the next installment, live, from Adelaide.
Till then, that's all for now.... except I played golf today, at Sanctuary Cove. Look that one up, that's a special course. That was a little gloat, if you couldn't work it out.