Moore takes tips from the top
Worcestershire batsman Stephen Moore has enjoyed working alongside players whom he normally comes up against, during the England Lions’ preparations for their tour of New Zealand.
Moore sees fellow Lions Gareth Batty and Steven Davies on a daily basis at New Road during the season, but has relished the chance to talk to players from other counties as he aims to better himself as a player.
“Normally I am down the other end of the pitch to these guys as they come in and try to get me out or give me some stick behind the stumps,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“It is nice to be on the other foot and get to know them, understand them a little bit better and hear their views about the game and see how they train.
“It has been a great experience really getting to know them all.”
The set-up at the National Performance Centre has allowed each player to work with everybody else, as they try to gel as a team ahead of two Tests, two one-dayers and a Twenty20 against their New Zealand A counterparts.
“The management made sure we all worked together - batsmen with bowlers and batsmen together - to cover everything we feel we need to cover,” Moore confirmed.
“We have been doing all sorts of physical training to try and get our bodies in the right shape for this tour.
“We have been doing a few skills, to test our techniques out, as well as skills more suited to the environment we are going to be in.
“We have been working on slow and seaming wickets, the types of fields New Zealand’s players might set to us, and the plans they might have. We have been talking through those and trying to combat them in training.
“We have tried to cover a broad variety of things to make sure we are best prepared.”
The Lions squad is made up of 16 players, some of whom - such as captain Robert Key - have experienced Test cricket and are passing on tips to others.
“Rob has played a lot of cricket and so have I, so we have bounced a few ideas off each other. It can only be helpful,” Moore added.
“We have been doing some good team training together to give us a real understanding of each other’s games, so we can play the best we can as a team.
“It is the kind of environment that we want, to improve. Everybody has been pretty open and honest. It’s a good learning environment.”
Moore came into cricket quite late, making his debut in 2003, at the age of 22. But he has made the most of his opportunities and was the leading English-qualified run-scorer in the County Championship last season.
Now, at the age of 28, he has been given his first taste of higher honours with his selection for the Lions squad.
“I never thought that I’d passed it,” he admitted. “I think I’ve done quite well after coming in at quite a late age. I try not to put an age bracket on it; your responsibilities change as your experience progresses.”
However, he admits that his call-up did come as quite a surprise, despite his summer success.
“When you do well you hope to go on and further your ambitions and dreams of playing for your country,” he said. “That is obviously the ultimate goal - that is why I play county cricket.
“But I never presumed that just because I was performing well, I’d get selected.”
Now that he has been selected, Moore has set targets which he hopes to achieve during the tour of New Zealand as he pushes for a place in the full England line-up.
“I hope to learn a lot, I hope to have some fun, and I hope to come back having won the series - all three series - with England,” he said.
“If you do that, come back having really dominated over there, I’m hoping that I will have contributed to that and by doing so will have raised some eyebrows in the higher eschelons of England cricket.
“That is our goal. We are going over there to dominate cricket and be a successful A side.
“Hopefully, by doing that, we will put pressure upwards on the England national side.”