Parsons sees sub-continental plusses
England Performance Programme director David Parsons believes next month's trip to India will enhance the players’ all-round understanding of the sub-continent, not least its playing conditions.
The EPP’s batting, spin and wicketkeeping departments, who will be accompanied by several senior England players, will travel to training camps in Pune and Mumbai to continue their development in unfamiliar territory.
Parsons insists the experience will stand the promising youngsters in good stead for future trips to the sub-continent.
“India we know, statistically if you speak to any past England player, is the most difficult place to go and win,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“Obviously, England haven't got a great record out there in recent years, so we thought that would be a good place to go.
“There will be a heavy emphasis on skills development from both the spin bowlers perspective and the batsmen perspective as well. To be effective, especially against spin, in the sub-continent is an area where we haven't been particularly strong but we also know it is a hostile environment to go in with a lot of unfamiliar things around players.
“The density of population, the traffic, the heat, the humidity, the types of pitches they will be playing on and the stadiums will be very unfamiliar to players. We want to give more familiarity with that environment. The two centres we have chosen in Pune and Mumbai, we think, suit our needs.”
England have also named a Potential Performance Programme that will introduce emerging youngsters to the different requirements needed to succeed at international level.
Parsons acknowledges it is a positive move that will not just benefit the players in the future, but also England.
“Over the last few years, through the work of Kevin Shine, we have been looking after another group of fast bowlers, who have been working predominantly on their conditioning,” he said.
“So we thought, this year, we would widen the net a little and begin to identify the best spinners and batters beneath the Performance Programme that we think would benefit from some sort of an introduction to the England or Performance Programme environment.
“Hopefully we will continue to see players being thread through that pipeline from that programme into the Performance Programme and for the luck ones, through to England.”