Wednesday, 10 December 2008

NZ vs West Indies – University Oval, Dunedin – The day before

Let's kick this thing off.....

Finally some sunshine.  I'm not going to come out and jump for joy about how much, but it was enough for us to get outside and train.  Training on grass is the best thing for us.  And unfortunately we just have to train indoors sometimes, just one of those unavoidable.  Indoor training is just so hard on the body.  Generally it's artificial grass straight on top of concrete.  Genuine surface for batting on, but it's to bouncy and quick in comparison to what we generally play on.  Not to mention it's hard on the ankles, shins, knees etc.  So, normally the bowlers won't 'run' in and bowl on these surfaces; it's just not worth the injury risk.  Although yesterday, with the forecast in mind, most of the bowlers did some form of bowling indoors.  There was a chance that it was going to be 'showery' today and that would mean that we would have to, again, train indoors.  So we all got some bowling in to make sure that we had some under our belts.

So training today, outside, on some pretty good training decks.  They played pretty well for being under cover for the last 3 days.  All bodes well for the bit out in the middle of University Oval. Got four overs under my belt, one to warm up, two at full pace and then one to work on different things like bouncers and other lengths.  This is normally what I would have done two and three days out from a match, not the day before.  But you do whatever you can to get ready when the opportunity is there.  Felt pretty good.  Worked hard on part of my action that I have never been happy with and am always working on;  I bring my bowling arm back behind my head and almost down to my left shoulder blade.  This creates a lot of torque and can mean I miss the timing of other parts of my action if things aren't going well.  So I'm always trying to have it 'load' up next to my head rather than half way down my back.  Maybe, just maybe I'm onto something today after chatting to our bowling coach yesterday.  I won't be worrying about it too much out in the middle tomorrow, as it's too new to really be 'grooved' in, but it's something to work on.

The last couple of nights I've been studying some video footage of the opposition batters via a computer we keep 'a lot' of matches on.  All our games are logged on it, and then some other games from around the world are logged on it too.  This gives us a great resource to check in with our own skills as well as others.  The bowlers will get together tonight to discuss bowling plans to the individual batters from the West Indies and we'll formulate plans to, hopefully, stick to. 

I go into this match with a pair of boots that has now lasted me four Test matches and a whole lot of bowling in between.  They are in ok nick, but it's almost time for a new pair as they are starting to lose their support through the ankle, which is an area I have issues with.  It's something that we need to keep on top of.  Bowling boots that are not in good condition are injury hazards.  They don't do the job they are supposed to and can do more harm than good.  Hopefully a sponsor will read this and get in touch. 

In saying that, Adidas sent me some new 'sunnies' the other day.  I didn't wear sunglasses in the first innings at Adelaide cause the ones that I had been wearing had been broken by our manager, he dropped a bat on them, snap.  That was a tough couple of days in the park squinting in the Adelaide sun.  I borrowed some off Hoppy on the Sunday and life was so much better. Again, things like this can make a whole days play just that much easier.

I now head off to our bowlers meeting and then Cap Presentation.  It's a different team to what I lined up with in Australia and I'm looking forward to what these guys will bring to this match.


Presentation done, tea (a curry) in my belly and I'm ready for bed.  The forecast isn't looking that as good as it has been today, but we all hold faith that it will be just fine.

In this match the 'referral' system is being used for decisions.  If, as a player, you disagree with an umpires decision you can send it to the 'Third' umpire for them to judge.  This is a big change and is still in trial mode.  It has been used before, Sri Lanka vs India.  It will be interesting to see how many times it is used, if at all, and the effect of it on the match.  I just had a good chat with Tony Hill, the Fourth Umpire for this match, about it.  Trying to test the boundaries of the system is what it's all about, that is, without stepping outside the spirit of the game.  I'm looking forward to seeing it in action, and do I agree with it or not.  Well, I'm a little impartial to be honest.  I've missed out on a few Test wickets but I've also 'got' a couple too.  It's the swings and roundabouts, its cricket.  I guess they're trying to get rid of the swings and roundabouts, and just get it right the first time.  And, again, that's fine with me.  I have a pretty good relationship with the umpires that I've played with and we all know we make mistakes, its fine... its cricket!


Robbi BT said...

Can't wait for it, all the best Iain!

Len said...

Keep going Iain, this is interesting stuff.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on the 'referral' system after the match too.

No Third Man said...

Maybe a chance of a few run outs as the Windies batsman will be weighed down with some extra bling after their Stanford win!

Jrod said...

Can you get a referral for those stupid things under Shiv's eyes?

Brat said...

Good luck, hopefully you wont have to do too much today!

Is all you eat curry? If so Dunedin is a good pace for it - Scottish national food and all.

Anonymous said...

I've also noticed all you seem to eat is curry, haha. I wouldnt have thought curry would be a regular food for a professional 'athlete' such as yourself :P

Test has started well...88/1 after the first session, Flynn batting nicely and McIntosh battling along on debut. Hopefully we can kick on to a decent score.

Good luck for the rest of the day and test!

Ram said...

"They don't do the job they are supposed to and can do more harm than good. Hopefully a sponsor will read this and get in touch. "

If all you need is a pair of shoes I can send the money, provided you promise to return them with your autograph!

Anonymous said...


What have you done with your hair?? Not too bad tho... ;-) Haha.

Good luck for tomorrow!

Iain O'Brien said...

Nothing beats a curry when you need runs.... the old saying goes!!

Hedley Headspace said...


what system is there in place to prevent an onfield team member from communicating with off-field staff who watch a computer analysed version of the disputed delivery in real time?

the disputes system works well in tennis cos hawkeye needs to monitor such a wide area and the replay takes some time to show ball positioning..

However, any wiseguy watching the live broadcast or listening to Waddle & co. should be able to give the bowler or batsman a 'heads up' with some kind of signal if it's worth another look, right?

bag em!

Angela said...

Hi Iain
Back in NZ and in Napier for three weeks. Saw you on the news tonight and very impressed. I am proud of you and your achievements in cricket. I also heard you got married - congratulations! Plans for Mitch, Jayd and I to get together for a night's reunion at some point 2009-2010. Will make contact closer to time if you are keen.
Good luck for everything.
Angela Reminiscing