I’ve got a bit of time on my hands at the moment. Playing for Leicestershire in the most recent Championship match (4 day) I got hit in the ribs while batting in the second innings. I’ll come to that in a bit.
So, so far over here I haven’t done as well as I’d have hoped. In my first couple of matches my action wasn’t really there and had to do some work on it during a training session that I managed to squeeze in before this Championship match. I had a good little bowl out in the middle in training, slowed everything down and just concentrated on a strong load up and release. My run up rhythm came quickly and then all of a sudden I was hitting the catcher’s glove hard from a nice length. It had come back to me and I had learnt some more about where my action needs to be and how to get it there when it falls over.
We turned up to the ground in Bristol, where Glocestershire are based, to a pleasant surprise. I had been told of the cold and somewhat dank changing rooms that were on offer there; we were very happy to get use of the new changing rooms. They were fantastic, comfortable and easily a large enough area for a International team; a couple of very good baths for either hot or cold baths. Nice work Glos!
The pitched looked like something I wanted to bowl on and was really impressed with our openers getting through the morning session without loss; a great job by these two. Unfortunately it didn’t quite continue. We lost eight wickets around the 80-90 mark and scratched through to 133. After such a great opening partnership we didn’t do well enough after that. I was pretty happy with my 23 and got through some tough stuff too.
I was looking forward to bowling on this deck; I had watched the Glos bowlers get some pace, bounce and a little movement; a couple of things that I don’t mind. I bowled well, I was really happy with how it came out and the lengths I was hitting. Of course, as normal, I was trying to bowl a touch fuller than my natural lengths are, not quite hitting it, but still making them play, and miss, in areas I want them to be playing in was what I needed to be doing after a average couple of weeks here at the start.
I got through 32 overs and ended up with two wickets. I feel that on another day it could have been maybe six or seven. I have certainly bowled worse and had more wickets. Thirty two overs is quite a few but I felt really good, when you bowl well the body is generally doing the things it should be and body parts don’t hurt as much. It’s when you don’t bowl well that the body hurts as the sequences are out and you end up muscling rather than using rhythm to get it in the right place. Of course the baths were used for both hot and colds as I’m always trying my best to keep the body right for the next day.
Second innings batting and we’re 260 behind. A tough ask to save this one if the weather doesn’t interfere. It didn’t, and we ended up getting 71 in front and Glos knocked it off without loss; a ten wicket loss. It was a pretty good effort to 331 with a couple of lads getting some real good scores without going on to make them special. Always need guys to make sores special as they can be the winning, or saving, of a match. I got 31 in the second innings in a partnership of 55 with Carl Crowe. I earned every one of that 31 in this innings. I got a pounding from Steve Kirby from over and mostly around the wicket. Mostly I feel I played him quite well, he was quick and aggressive. I have had a lot of short stuff since the Gabba Test in Australia and am getting better at facing it. As I’ve said if I can get under a bouncer early I generally get under the rest. I couldn’t pick up (see) Kirby as well as I have picked others in the past and it was tough. It took a lot of mental effort to try not to back away and just slog. I tried as hard as I could to stay in line and play as solidly as I could and in that effort I got pinned by stepping out of my game plan. I had a pull shot that I stepped away from and opened up my right side, the ball went thud and I knew I was in trouble.
I tried to warm up to bowl during the change of innings but just could not get through any part of my action without it hurting, lots! So I sat in the changing room with ice on my side. I had thought earlier in the day that if we had of got 150 in front we had a chance of winning. Not to be and a couple of games on the bench for me.
Because I know you all care..... The ribs are coming along ok, a lot better over the last couple of days that it was in the first two. I had a good work out in the gym this morning with Suzie, our Leicestershire Trainer, I couldn’t do everything I would do normally but got through some good stuff and will get back in there tomorrow to do more.
Some people have asked why I’m not off playing in the IPL, well cause I’m here playing for Leicestershire. I got asked to play during the India series but as I had already signed for Leicestershire I couldn’t take up the offer. I just spoke to Graham Napier, who’s just been selected in the England T20 WC team and has been a team mate of mine at Wellington; he said he had a great time with his team Mumbai Indians and throughout the time he was there in the tournament. Hopefully next time it comes around I’ll get a chance to play as it looks and sounds like a great tournament to be a part of.