Rainford-Brent lauds India experience
Ebony Rainford-Brent is hoping the recent training camp in India will help England women sweep all before them at next year's World Cup.
The 24-year-old travelled with 10 of her England team-mates to the Global Cricket School in Bangalore earlier this month where they spent hours batting against slow bowlers on spin-friendly wickets.
While conditions on the subcontinent do not replicate Australia, the venue of March's World Cup, the theory behind playing spin - rotating the strike, punching the ball into gaps and running hard - is something England coach Mark Lane wants his charges to adopt against every type of bowling.
"It was an amazing trip," Rainford-Brent told ecb.co.uk.
"I loved it. Everyone did. We had the chance to bat day in, day out against different sorts of bowlers on different wickets. It was perfect. Sometimes the bowlers would scratch the wicket to make it turn more. That's not something you see over here.
"I practised working the ball into gaps by using my wrists more. I normally like to get my hands through the ball but it's important to be able to deflect it into space. I worked on my sweep shot too. It's a shot I don't use often so I learnt to play it better.
"The bowlers got the chance to work on different things and we did some fielding too. Ray Jennings (former South Africa men's coach) did a lot of work with us, lots of which was new. We trained our hands and eyes."
While cricket was top of the agenda, Rainford-Brent, Isa Guha, Lauren Griffiths and Caroline Atkins found time in their busy schedule to visit a drop-in centre in the city for women with HIV.
"It was a real eye-opener," she added.
"It was run by women with HIV. There were lots of services which help those with HIV live with the virus. Lots of them are discriminated against so the support network they have is really important.
"We went down to the centre and spoke to the ladies there. We then went outside and played cricket with them. Despite having HIV and really struggling, they were so happy. It helped put things in perspective."
Returning to cricket, the Surrey batter, whose full name Ebony-Jewel Cora-Lee Camellia Rosamond Rainford-Brent is the longest in world cricket, is gearing up towards the tournament in Australia.
Not assured of being included in Lane's squad of 15, her infectious smile spread as wide as her Gray Nicolls bat when she found out she had been selected.
"For me it was a tight line whether I would get into the squad," she explained. "Laney (England coach Mark Lane) called me to say I had been selected. I screamed. I could not believe it. I was with my mum when I found out, so it was nice to share it with my family.
"I am not guaranteed to get in the starting XI so I need to be ready to take my opportunity when it comes along. If I can tick every box when it comes to training, then I will feel a lot more confident when I get my bat in my hands.
"I have an action plan that I put together after India. I will be working on the technical and mental side of my game, as well as my fitness. I'll be spending lots of time in the gym and the nets. I have a net session at 7am tomorrow."