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Ready for Australia

Posted in England Lions

On return from India, it was nice to enjoy a couple of weeks over the Christmas period, catching up with friends and family and recharging the batteries.

For myself this was not just having an eating competition at Xmas dinner, but was largely revolved around rehabbing my knee in the gym. This led me to Bisham Abbey in early January, to the Intensive Rehabilitation Unit (IRU) aimed at nursing athletes back to full health.

Spending the week training alongside Olympic medal athletes was a great opportunity and provided a learning experience that will stay with me for a long time. The detailed and in-depth approach to their work, and attention to detail was a pleasure to witness and see first-hand and the reputation that they have earned is richly deserved.

We then battled the snow and returned to Loughborough, and for a few of the lads, post-Xmas fitness testing was a particularly nervy time. A few of the lads clearly had a very enjoyable Xmas (not to mention any names), but most came through unscathed.

It was only a seven-day training block, but the intensity was high throughout, as we focused on the specifics of one-day cricket. As a bowling unit, one of the tasks we faced was identifying plans for the new one day rulings. Once we got through the smoke of complaining non-stop at having one less man out the ring at the death, we worked hard at developing plans to rehearse in training.

We welcomed a couple of new faces to the group over the course of the week, and it is great for Craig, Reece and Rikki to come and join the group. Seeing my new county teammate Jimmy Harris get called up to the one-day squad in New Zealand, not only makes you delighted for him, but serves as a reminder how close you can be to an England squad.
Jimmy has been a part of the programme for a long time and deserves it fully and best of luck to him over the coming months.

To further highlight the link to England, we were fortunate to have a couple of chats with Andy Flower, covering what he looks for in an England cricketer, and then more specifically one-day plans. It was a great opportunity to match your own ideas to those of the England team and provided an interesting addition to my personal and the team's approach to the upcoming tour.

The miserable weather has only added to the excitement of getting out there, in the sunshine and playing with the sun on the back. Looking out of a Heathrow boarding lounge, rain coming down, I think we're all ready to test ourselves and compete against the Aussies. Now for a 24 hour flight!

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