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Dodging bouncers in Mumbai

Posted in England Performance Programme

After a tough two weeks in London and Loughborough the England Performance Programme squad finally arrived in Mumbai to start our month-long tour.

Despite turning the heat up in the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough, nothing can really prepare you for the heat and humidity out here.

The training sessions so far have been very tough, especially as we are still getting used to the heat.

Everybody bats, bowls and fields, plus we have an aerobic or strength session every day, so no stone is left unturned.

As a bowler it's nice to get to bat against the hoards of Indian net bowlers who are helping out. That doesn't always happen at the counties during the winters back home.

One thing we have noticed is the amount of bouncers we are receiving in the nets.

Batting coaches Mark Ramprakash and Graham Thorpe decided to make the pitch 18 yards. This has either offended the net bowlers or they are smart and just take advantage of their new-found pace.

Either way, the boys are getting a peppering you might expect from the West Indies team of the '80s and '90s and it is showing no signs of stopping.

Simon Kerrigan

Lancashire spinner Simon Kerrigan, seen here in the corner on his laptop, is my room-mate for the EPP tour to Mumbai

The facilities at the DY Patil Stadium are fantastic. The stadium has a practice ground with 12 pitches along with a good gym and a swimming pool which, in my opinion, is far too big and I'm trying to avoid it.

Away from the ground and cricket side of things we are staying at a nice hotel in Navi Mumbai, which means 'new Mumbai'.

The area is on the outskirts of Mumbai, is quite newly developed and not anywhere near as busy as the city centre.

Our hotel is right by a mall and the guys spend quite a lot of downtime exploring it and the local area when they aren't too tired from training.

Whilst on tour I'm rooming with Simon Kerrigan and so far we have kept the room organised and tidy and haven't killed each other, but it's only week one...