Update from Perth

February 2, 2012

Matt SpriegelHaving been out of the country since the beginning of January with little access to the internet, I have seen very little media bashing of the England team. Given that only two Test matches ago this current England side was being dubbed as one of the best ever, it is scary how quickly things can change!

I was unable to view much the last Test match, so I cant comment on specific events that unfolded in Abu Dhabi, but in order for England, or any Test nation to be classed as the best in the world, they have to win consistently away from home. For England, this means mastering the subcontinent, a very tricky task. You only have to look at India’s last two away series to see how difficult it can be to adapt to different conditions. The former number 1 team in the world have been blown away by both England and Australia, on surfaces that bounce above waist height consistently.

Having recently spent 10 days training in Pune, India, I know first-hand how the Indian coaches think about processes of batting. Some of the skills I was being introduced to would never work back in England, but the more you practice and buy into what they were preaching, you can see how these methods would work on Indian surfaces. Developing skills in different situations and environments is essential to developing your game, and I hope the time I have had in India will put me in good stead as my career moves forward. Between training, I have been plowing through DVD box sets and doing my best to avoid the dreaded Delhi Belly, easier said than done!

I thought training in the heat of Pune would make playing out in Perth, where I am now for a month, a seamless transition. However, I was in for a shock when I met 42 degrees in my first match on Saturday (and that was the shade)! With my month long detox coming to an end, this hot weather allowed to me to sweat out a few more of the toxins I had accumulated over the festive period! Thankfully I scored 97 which was a good start to my trip and it was very important I re-fuelled that evening with my new team mates.

For me, it’s going to be vital that I hit pre-season running this year with stiff competition at Surrey for spots in the County Championship side. I am hoping trips to Perth and Pune will be the catalyst for a successful start to the season in April.


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