Challenges and Challengers
Posted in England Women
After a day of travelling and a day of resting, we approached our first training session in Bangalore with mixed feelings.
Many of the girls were a little worried about the conditions, as we had been given a taster of them at our pre-tour training camp at the National Cricket Centre in Loughborough.
At the camp we endured a day of unknown team challenges in the gym, followed by some intense training and assessments in the nets - all with the heat cranked up to 30 degrees.
With this valuable experience and massive sweat loss under our belts, I was keen to play some cricket.
We arrived at the Chinnaswamy Stadium at 8:30am, but there was a good chance that Shell (Rochelle Petty) would have been there a lot earlier after starting getting ready at 2:30am due to confusion of time differences.
Luckily, Mindy (Jasmine Titmuss) found her mid-application of foundation and managed to assure her she had five more hours sleep.
Even though the coaches had promised us a light session due to a bit of jet-lag in our legs, plans quickly changed when former Australia paceman and Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson and Umesh - who is orchestrating things while we are here - wanted to see all of us bat and bowl.
Three hours later it was safe to say that Geoff and Umesh had seen enough of us to offer some very valuable information, which we will carry for a long time.
We were also allowed the opportunity to bat against some Indian lads, which was a big challenge for many girls as the turn they got and the areas they bowled were sometimes unplayable.
Nevertheless, we all learnt a lot in a short space of time which created a positive feeling throughout the camp from our first net session.
We finished with a few fielding drills, which proved a lot more difficult in 30-degree heat, but commitment levels could not be faulted.
After a hard mornings session it was clear that many of us were keen to find a bit of shade; to relax and avoid dodgy sock and shirt tans!
That night we were treated to tickets to an Indian Premier League match - Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Rajasthan Royals - which was an experience many of us will never forget.
Armed with flags, shirts, temporary tattoos and bandanas, we all took to the stands to watch the match and support 'our' new team.
Although the game wasn't the most thrilling or highest scoring of the competition, the atmosphere was incredible and there was some very big hitting.
Bangalore took an easy win and the crowd was ecstatic, including Mindy who managed to find some use for the drum she had bought from a street seller earlier in the afternoon!
All in all, the first training day was a very good one and the standard was set to be maintained and upped during the rest of the tour.
Kate Cross is part of the England Women's Academy squad for the 10-day High Performance Camp in Bangalore.