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Learning lessons as I go

Posted in England Performance Programme

Narendra Hirwani

© Getty Images

There have been some really good wickets in training and myself and the spinners have gone away and worked very well with Ashley Giles while the seamers and batters have got in well with Kevin Shine and Martyn Moxon throughout the two weeks we’ve already had here.

We've had Narendra Hirwani, who was an Indian leg-spinner, coach us for three days. We were fortunate enough to work for a good couple of hours each day with him. It’s great to be working with guys like him and Ashley and the tips we’re taking away will be invaluable to our game.

I worked with Hirwani in January and March when I was here with Surrey, and so this time I opted to concentrate on similar aspects to those that we worked on earlier in the year. We've worked really well with him and he has helped us concentrate on our lines and run-ups.

Narendra Hirwani

Narendra Hirwani during his playing days © Getty Images

On Thursday we had a match scenario and were split into two teams of six. There were a couple of people suffering so we enlisted the State U19 bowlers who had been bowling for us in the nets and who had been helping us with our fielding drills. The aim was to get some decent batting practice in the difficult conditions over here and to put what we have been learning throughout the camp into practice.

Each team lost six wickets during the course of the game. The wicket was seaming and spinning and doing quite a bit. We found the conditions difficult to play in but it was good to test ourselves and try not to give our wicket away.

The wickets have turned quite a bit and the nets have also been very good so it's been a good test for all the batters in the nets. It's been good for myself and Adil Rashid to keep working together especially with Ashley observing and watching what we do.

Adil is really coming on. He's only 19 and has played a limited amount of first-class cricket. We've had some long chats about his action and the way he wants to go forward and I believe he’s got a long future in the game.

He's worked very well with Ashley and spoken about what he wants to do and he's spoken to Hirwani who has given him a lot of tips on how he can make his bowling better. He seems to be enjoying the advice he's been given and hopefully it will make him a better cricketer.

Adil Rashid

Adil Rashid has been working with Schofield © Getty Images

We've also had a lot of opportunities to work on our batting. I went away with Martyn who gave me a couple of targets to work on - he gives you certain fields to work on so as not to give your wicket away against the seamers and the spinners.

In the nets we’re treating it much like a match scenario, which is great as it really makes you think about the shots you play and various other aspects of your batting game.

I have recently spent a couple of years out of cricket and so haven't been playing the sport overseas during the winter for the past few seasons. It definitely feels good to get back into winter touring again, although I am missing family and friends back home, but am adapting quickly.

We've got another three weeks left on the Indian leg of the programme. There’s a lot of cricket involved on the back end of our tour which I’m sure will make the days pass quickly. But generally at the moment we've got a lot of fitness and net training to get on with. It’s been going well so far and will hopefully set us up and prepare us for the games ahead.

Everyone's enjoyed being out here so far. The food's been fantastic and the facilities have been great. We're all really looking forward to moving onto the MRF Academy in Chennai this week for more top-rate hospitality and first-class facilities.

National Cricket Performance Centre

National Cricket Performance Centre

The state-of-the-art facility is much more than just a training centre for the England Performance Programme players as it provides an all-year-round facility to benefit cricket as a whole