I have just got back home after our training camp in Desert Springs in Spain.
It was a really tiring few days but extremely worthwhile. We did everything we wanted to do – lots of fitness and fielding work but also spending time together. Everyone loved it.
I went on a similar camp before the Ashes two years ago and I really felt the benefits then. This was the same. It was great to get away from everything and not have any distractions.
The weather was lovely but not too hot as there was a breeze. We might not have made it outside if we’d stayed in England.
We stayed in houses and I shared with Rashy and Stokesy. We are all pretty similar blokes and get on well. We are normally in hotel rooms which can mean spending time on your own, so it was nice to have a change.
It’s a massive complex, so much so that we had to get bikes to training and dinner.
Fielding was a key focus on the trip. We had a couple of meetings where we discussed our fielding and how we wanted to be the best in the world in that area. We then did a lot of fielding sessions, trying to improve all aspects.
We did our fitness testing at Loughborough on Monday before we flew out to Spain. We are all pretty fit as the results from that day showed, but this was a chance to top up and make sure we are in peak condition before South Africa and the Champions Trophy.
We had a golf day on Wednesday. I was in a group with Jason Roy, Phil Neale and Graham Thorpe. Jason played very well. He’s a serious player and hits the ball with a lot of power. Phil was good but Thorpey lost interest after a few holes – much like me! It was nice to spend time with them.
The guys love playing golf and there are some really good players in the squad. They take it quite seriously. I don’t particularly like the sport but still managed a few pars.
We also played three games of football. The grounds were perfect for football and the matches were as competitive as usual.
I got some stick for my football boots, which I got before I met Harry Kane at Tottenham’s training ground last summer.
I felt a bit rusty as I hadn’t played for a while but I still managed to get a few goals. That’s what top strikers do. They find a way to score when they aren’t playing well.
I’m going to have a chilled weekend before heading to the team hotel in Leeds on Sunday. We then have an exciting few weeks ahead with three ODIs against South Africa which will be a great series.
They are the number one side in the world so we know it will be tough but those three games will show where we are as a team.
Then it’s the Champions Trophy, which we think we can win.
There has been a massive change in our one-day cricket in the last two years and this tournament has come at the right time. We are really enjoying playing 50-over cricket at the moment.
What gives us the best chance of winning is our team spirit. The whole team is really close, everyone gets on and there is loads of banter flying around.
It also helps that we have world-class players like Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler - players who can break records and take our cricket to another level.
But I think Jason Roy, Sam Billings and Adil Rashid can also show this tournament what they can do. I think they can be up there with the best players in the world.
Catching practice in the sun ☀️ 🇪🇸 pic.twitter.com/vSDwawD4af— England Cricket (@englandcricket) 18 May 2017