Saturday, 16 February 2013
Ballance Down Under Diary - part 3
We may have lost our three warm-up matches against Victoria, but I am very confident that the Lions boys are ready for the one-day series against Australia A, which started in Hobart this morning (Saturday)
Our goal coming out here was to win the series. While it is disappointing not to have a win under our belts, we have played some good cricket and everyone has had the opportunity to get used to conditions.
I think we took a bit of time to adapt out here, but we are definitely ready to go having faced some very good and proven Victorian players.
I scored 57 in the final warm-up match at the MCG on Wednesday, and it was nice to be in the runs again after my 86 earlier in the tour. It was not the first time we lost wickets in clumps early in our innings, so to do it when the team needs you makes it more satisfying.
But I was still disappointed not to kick on and score more. I had built a platform for those last ten overs when I can play more shots and have a bit of fun.
Even so, I know I am in good form. Hopefully that carries on.
I spoke a bit about the possibility of playing at the MCG last week, and to be able to do it was a great experience.
The sheer size and reputation puts it in my top three grounds that I’ve played at. Lord’s ranks first, Scarborough second and now the MCG is third.
We have been in Hobart for a few days, and we have netted really well. Our batting coach Mark Ramprakash has been a big part of that.
We worked with Graham Thorpe at Loughborough before he was promoted to the full squad in New Zealand. Ramps has since taken over, and he has been great.
It has not just been about him helping us personally, he has also been extremely useful in terms of talking about conditions and the differences with the Kookaburra ball having played a lot in Australia.
I haven’t really worked on anything too specific with my game because I am very happy with where it is at. It is just about building on the things I am doing.
I will finish on Yorkshire matters because I want to wish Oliver Hannon-Dalby all the best at Warwickshire.
I have played a lot with Olly since moving to Yorkshire, and he is a very talented cricketer and a good mate. He had a very good season a couple of years ago, so hopefully he can do something similar with Warwickshire as long as it is not against us!