By Dominic Farrell
England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad senses high levels of hunger and desire among his squad after landing in the Caribbean.
Having endured a disappointing winter in Australia, England are beginning their rebuilding process in a limited-overs series against West Indies before the same squad heads to Bangladesh to contest the ICC World Twenty20.
England arrived in Antigua this weekend ahead of the first of three one-day internationals – where Broad will also lead in the absence of Alastair Cook – and immediately launched into some gruelling fielding drills.
Their captain was happy with what he saw ahead of Friday's opening ODI, which will be preceded by a Tuesday warm-up match at North Sound.
“You always work hard and you try to better yourself in every aspect, and fitness is one of those things,” he said.
“We know when we go to Bangladesh for the World Cup eventually we’re going to be playing in hot conditions and we want to be one of the fittest sides there.
“So we can really use these three weeks. With one-day and Twenty20 cricket you tend to get a bit more time between games to work on that sort of thing.
“The guys are really hungry. We’ve only been together 48 hours but there’s a real hunger to come and do a lot better.
“There’s no doubt we’ve had a tough winter so far as an England cricket team but you really sense the guys want to improve and want to win games.”
Overseeing the work was Paul Collingwood, back in the England set-up as assistant coach for the coming limited-overs schedule.
Broad is aiming to emulate Collingwood’s feat from 2010, when the Durham man captained England to World T20 glory, and is delighted to have an always-popular man during his international playing days among the group.
“I’ve played a lot of cricket with Colly and he’s a fantastic guy,” Broad said. “He’s very energetic, very positive – he’s what you call a good tourist.
“He loves being away, he brings a lot of energy to the group and he was one of the best fielders England have ever had.
“He brings that experience and what he was fantastic at was taking that half chance. That’s probably where, as an England side, over the past year we’ve struggled; we’ve not taken our chances when they’ve come to us.
“Colly was fantastic at hitting the stumps, when he got the opportunity, and taking memorable catches. Hopefully we’ll be able to feed off some of that experience and put that into practice on the field.”