Settling into our new home
Posted in Domestic Cricket
Our match against Lancashire this week is our first championship game at the new-look Edgbaston. It looks fantastic and will be one hell of a stadium when it is full.
We played two CB40 games there over the Bank Holiday weekend and the atmosphere felt different to last season. It is much bigger than before. You almost feel as if you are in a totally different stadium.
We have Trotty and Belly back for Lancashire. They are both world-class players which means people are going to be disappointed to miss out. That can only be good for Warwickshire, having such strong competition for places. When you are in the side you have to take wickets or score runs otherwise someone will take your place.
One player who has done that is Varun Chopra. He looks a million dollars at the moment. He started the season with back-to-back hundreds - not many players in the world can say that. That's special. He looks like he has a bright future ahead of him.
Our first two championship games really could not have gone any better, both for the team and my point of view.
Our win over Somerset at Taunton was massive and then to beat Worcestershire, considering where we were after the first innings, was a top effort. We then lost to Durham but we can be pleased with our start to the season.
Against Somerset we were in a brilliant position after scoring 642 in the first innings, which then got even better when we bowled them out and asked them to follow on.
When you make a team bat again, especially at Taunton, you expect to be in the field for a long time, but we kept on taking wickets and bowled them out in 14.4 overs. We probably won't see that again.
For me, scoring a hundred and taking nine wickets in that game, I could not have asked for more. It was good to get the season off to a good start with bat and ball.
I had not picked up a bat since the Lions tour where I scored a ton in the last game against Jamaica. I'm claiming back-to-back hundreds. It's probably the last time I will ever be able to say that.
I want to improve with the bat and move up the order. I'd like to bat as high as number seven but I know I need to score more runs to do that.
I look at myself as an all-rounder, which means you have to work on all three aspects of your game. I worked really hard at my batting during the winter, perhaps even more than my bowling.
Having Mohammad Yousuf as our overseas player has been invaluable for me. He is a world-class batsman with plenty of experience which I am tapping into.
He has shown glimpses of pure class without going on to get a big score but hopefully that will come. He's quite a funny guy. His English isn't great but he comes up with some brilliant one-liners which cracks everyone up.