Hotting up Down Under
Posted in England team blog
I have just woken up after having a little nap. I was quite tired after spending 50 overs in the field during this afternoon's training session - it was hard work in the 37 degree heat but then I didn't expect anything different before coming out here.
It's not just the training that has worn me out. I have been struggling with jetlag since we arrived. We are encouraged to get some rest when we feel we need it. Hopefully I should be over it soon.
It's been tough since we got here but it's exciting at the same time. I'm loving being part of an Ashes tour.
We left England on Friday and despite it being such a long flight it went quite quickly.
On the flight to Singapore I sat next to Andy Flower. It was a brilliant opportunity to pick his brain and talk cricket with him. We chatted about other stuff too. I then sat next to Alastair Cook on the Singapore to Perth flight.
When I wasn't speaking to them I watched a couple of TV series on my iPad - Entourage and Jersey Shore - as well as a hilarious film called The Hangover. I've seen it before but it's right up my street. I also did some reading.
The first thing that hits you when you get off the plane is the heat. It's not overwhelming, though, and it's nice to be in the sun.
From the airport we headed to the team hotel where everyone just crashed out. We were all so cooked from the flight that everyone just settled in their room.
We had a free day on Sunday so in the evening Eoin Morgan and I went out with Billy Godleman, who used to play with us at Middlesex before he moved to Essex. He is playing cricket cricket out here this winter. It was really good to catch up with him over a steak.
On Monday we had our first training session on a lawn by the Swan River. It was really scenic and a good chance to brush off the cobwebs after the long trip.
Since then we have been in the nets and doing middle practices. You really notice the difference in the wickets here - they are quick and you get excellent carry through to the wicketkeeper.
As a bowler you need to adjust how you bowl but that's the same with any wicket you bowl on, even around the county grounds in England.
I have been happy with how I have bowled so far. It's not about trying to get wickets at this stage but settling into a rhythm and being comfortable with how the ball is coming out.
I still have a lot to work on as a bowler. I need to be more consistent but, in terms of the training sessions so far, I am pleased with my form.
Before Tuesday's session we had a sweepstake on the Melbourne Cup. I can't remember the name of the horse I picked and it ended up somewhere in the middle. Matt Prior won but Swanny took half the money because his horse came last.
I'm looking forward to Friday's game with Western Australia. It will be an excellent opportunity to test ourselves against some seasoned state cricketers. We can see how we are getting on as a side.
We are going to treat it like any other game. We want to get the ball rolling this tour and put in a good performance but it's important we don't build it up too much.