Big game fishing
Posted in England Lions
I'm feeling really fresh after a few days off. Everyone thinks Twenty20 cricket is the easiest format of the game but it's so intense, especially for bowlers. Because the batsmen are always coming hard at you, you have to think every ball. It's not just a case of running in and hitting your line and length.
Also, because you are bowling different balls all the time, you are doing different things with your body which is tiring.
The last few days have been really chilled after we moved from Abu Dhabi to our hotel in Dubai. A few of us did manage a boat trip though - me, Tregs, Steve Finn, Belly, James Taylor, Kirbs and the skipper. It was pretty special. The boat was something you would expect a millionaire to have. We did some fishing, caught a few rays and went swimming. Kirbs caught two fish on one line - he was loving it.
Kirbs is great value. We call him 'Tango' because of his hair. He comes out with some perfect lines. You can have a lot of fun with him and he takes it really well. He dishes out a fair back in return though.
He took a lot of stick when we were in Sharjah last week because the highlights in his hair looked green. To be fair the lighting in the meeting room didn't do him any favours.
We ended up winning the Twenty20 series with Pakistan A 2-1. Having been two-up we were disappointed not to get a whitewash but we made up for that by beating England in Abu Dhabi last Wednesday. That was brilliant.
It was their first game on tour and we knew they would be a bit rusty. We wanted to take advantage of that. They have some quality players so it was a good chance for us to test ourselves. We took the game really seriously and each of the players wanted to prove a point. You don't always get the chance to play the lads who are ahead of you.
It was quite a weird experience bowling against England. I played against them for Warwickshire last summer in a warm-up game for the Ashes so playing twice against England is rare.
I thought I bowled well up front and was given the ball for the final final over. I conceded 27 runs from my four overs which is quite respectable in Twenty20 cricket.
I'm really pleased with how I am bowling. There is real competition for places with so many good seam bowlers so I was happy to make the final XI.
Winning that game showed how much our team has come on this tour. We now want to push on for the rest of the tour.
I'm really looking forward to our three 50 over matches with Pakistan A which start on Monday. The skipper said Pakistan will be starting the series with a clean slate so we know we have to play well to win.
All the games are at the cricket stadium in Dubai Sport City. It's an amazing ground with huge changing rooms. I'm excited about playing there.
I looked at the wicket when we trained there on Sunday afternoon and speaking to Kevin Shine, our bowling coach, we think it will play like the wickets in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. That's good for us as we won't have to change how we have been bowling. We will have to bowl variations but being a longer format, you have to be more patient. You can also get into a rhythm which is important for a bowler.
I was at the stadium on Saturday night to watch the second Twenty between England and Pakistan. The atmosphere was amazing and I'd be lying if I said I didn't think I'd like to be out there one day. Playing for England has been an ambition of mine ever since I was a young boy.