Adapting to life in the slow lane
Posted in England team blog
Our preparation for this tournament has gone really well and we are ready to go. We won both our warm-up games, the batsmen have spent time in the middle and our bowlers are looking good. Hopefully we can get off to a winning start on Monday against West Indies.
They knocked us out of last year's tournament at the Oval in a rain-affected game where Duckworth-Lewis didn't do us any favours. I wouldn't say we are out for revenge though and can be confident after playing some good cricket since then.
The game will be in Guyana where the wicket is slow and low - much different to the pitches when I played here in the 2007 World Cup with Ireland.
Spinners are going to be key so it is important to play the ball late and manoeuvre the ball into the gaps. We will have to target the quicker bowlers.
A score of about 135 is about par which is quite low for a Twenty20 game. We would be confident of defending something as low as 125. Every wicket will be different though providing we get through the group stage.
Our second game is against Ireland. Despite being Irish and having played for them, I don't think it will be strange lining up against them for England. It was always going to happen at some point. I always wanted to play for England and I am loving it at the minute.
I will be playing against some of my mates and I watched the beginning of their game with West Indies on Friday.
I am really pleased with how I am playing at the moment. It was a great experience being involved in the Indian Premier League even though I didn't play as much as I would have liked. It was fantastic being there though with all those world class players and unlimited practice facilities.
I have confidence in my game and don't feel any pressure when I go out to bat. It helps when you have the two power hitters at the top and then high calibre players like Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood coming in at three and four.
I enjoy batting at number five. Every situation is different and each time I bat is a new challenge which you have to adapt to. Things have gone well for me in the last six months and I hope it can continue.