Look behind you
Posted in Domestic Cricket
Confidence is high at Edgbaston at the moment. After being bottom of the championship after two defeats, we are now mid-table and looking to push the teams at the top.
We have won five in five in all competitions, two being in the championship. Winning can become a habit.
Our first two weeks of the season were weird. We thought we were playing pretty good cricket without finishing games off. We lost to Yorkshire and Lancashire and knew we had to turn it around.
In our third match of the season we were staring down the barrel against Hampshire so it was a fantastic effort to win.
After they scored 283 in the first innings, we were in trouble at 98 for seven when I went in and we gradually took the game away from them.
I batted with Tim Ambrose who got fifty, then Carts (Neil Carter) gave it a whack. I was like a silent assassin just ticking over at the other end so I just tried to give him the strike. He got out, which left me with our number 11 Imran Tahir who batted really well and stayed in long enough to make sure I could get to my hundred.
I think it was the best moment of my career so far. I've taken six wickets for England Lions, a few five-fors with Warwickshire but this was special. I was proud to score it at Edgbaston in front of a decent crowd too.
I don't know what it is about Hampshire as I scored my maiden first-class ton against them last season. We were up against it then as well but this one felt different. I knew I had to get the team out of trouble so I felt relief more than anything.
I work hard on my batting. Bowling comes more naturally, but if I keep making good scores then people might start to recognise me as a solid all-rounder which is what I want. I'd like to bat up the order at Warwickshire but there are some good batsmen here.
We had a brilliant win against Kent last week. Despite it being a low-scoring game with them chasing just 201 on the last day, we were always optimistic we would win. We were still upbeat when they were 100 for three at tea.
Imran bowled really well and got four key wickets. When we got Darren Stevens, caught by me at deep backward square, then we knew it was our game. Kent have a good side so it was an excellent to beat them.
There is something different about the way teams are playing in the championship this season. With the new ruling that the heavy roller can't be used once the game has started, there are more results and teams are going for the wins. That's our mentality. There is almost no point trying to draw games.
We are midtable after those two wins and want to push the teams at the top. Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire have started well but we are not too far behind now.
I am pleased with how I am bowling at the moment. I have 17 wickets at 28, so just over four wickets a match. I have taken a few three-fors and a four but I'd like to get a five. As long as the team are winning then I don't mind.
I have enjoyed bowling with Carts. He's been brilliant this season and is close to the top of the FTI MVP rankings. He's bowling well in all forms and taking wickets in clumps. I think it helps that we have a right-left combination.
Imran has been bowling well without getting the rewards. He was excellent against Kent and I'm sure he'll get lots of wickets when the wickets start turning. He's a great signing for us.
It's been nice to have a few days off this week. I played golf with my old man and a couple of mates on Tuesday - I hit 87 which wasn't too bad. A few of the lads at the club are pretty good so I try not to play with them as I am one of the worst golfers. Luckily my mates aren't too good.
We are back at Edgbaston on Thursday before driving down to the Rose Bowl for a Clydesdale Bank 40 game on Friday night.
We have won three matches on the trot in that competition and hopefully we can make it five by beating Hampshire on Friday and Kent on Sunday. We are looking to do well in this competition and have lots of bowling options with Boyd Rankin back from the World Twenty20 and Keith Barker free from injury.
The game with Hampshire is on TV so it's a good chance for me and the boys to shine and show people what we can do. When I was starting out I was really aware of the cameras when we played televised matches but now I just treat them as any other game.
I have managed to see bits and bobs of the World Twenty20. England have played some brilliant cricket and hopefully we can go all the way and win it.
The side looks really strong with two massive hitters up front. I saw lots of Lumby (Michael Lumb) when we played for England Lions in Dubai in February. He just dominates at the top of the order which makes it really hard for the bowlers.
Kiesy (Craig Kieswetter) was on that Lions tour - he's a top player too. He really gives it a smack and I'm sure he'll have a big future in Twenty20, one-day and perhaps even Test cricket.