On the move
Posted in England Performance Programme
Quite a lot has happened since my last blog. The EPP have played and won two matches, England won the Mumbai Test, Ali Cook has just got 190 at Eden Gardens and we have travelled to Pune for the last days of our trip.
In the EPP games, we won both fixtures against a stubborn opposition in the DY Patil Academy XI.
Over both games, all the lads put in good performances, notably Joe Root with a big hundred and Scott Borthwick with an impressive haul.
It was also good to see Steven Finn proving his fitness and getting some overs and wickets under his belt.
While this was going on, England were completing a fantastic win the other side of Mumbai. It really was an amazing victory especially after losing the toss on a pitch that turned from day one!
Following the two games that spelt an end to our time in Navi Mumbai, the lads left lots of white kit for the Indian boys that had been bowling in the nets and helping out.
It’s blue kit from here on in as we have finally made it to Pune to commence the white-ball portion of our tour.
Pune is known as the Oxford of India and is the second largest city in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai.
My initial impressions are that it seems reasonably affluent compared to where we were previously staying and our hotel is very nice.
We are training at the Poona Club which we are yet to see as we have only just arrived.
On day one in Pune, we all embarked on a community project which saw us go into a local school.
We took some children out of their usual lessons and played ‘kwik cricket’ with them and did lots of fielding practice.
It was especially great to see some of the less fortunate children having such a great time and they ran the boys ragged.
We all left feeling like we had played a full day’s cricket ourselves. It was also great to see how enthusiastic about cricket they are and there were some really unorthdox techniques on show.
I had one awkward moment where I lost a ball on a roof which instantly saw about six 8-9 year olds trying to climb up and get it.
Trying to persuade them to get down was a tricky test of my parenting skills, especially as some only spoke a little English. It ended well though and nobody was hurt!
In the morning, we get back on with training and the emphasis is on one-day cricket.
We have a week of nets and physical training before the first of three games against the Netherlands, which will be a tough opposition.
In my next blog, I will let you know how these games go.
P.S. I hope the weather warms up at home.