Saturday, 9 February 2013
In the runs - GB's tour diary part 2
Although it was obviously a big disappointment to lose our first game, it was great for me to be able to start the tour the way I did with 86 against Victoria at the Junction Oval in Melbourne on Thursday.
I came to the crease at a tough time with us batting first, and it took a few balls to get going. But it was good to get some time at the crease to give myself a chance to score heavily with five to ten overs left.
It is something I have built my career on in one-day cricket, getting myself in during the first 20 or 30 overs of an innings knowing that there are powerplays to come.
Especially with the new regulations which allow only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle outside the powerplays, it means you can go a lot harder and score more runs towards the end of an innings.
Having done that kind of thing for Yorkshire definitely helped me the other day.
Victoria provided us with a very tough start to the tour because they had quite a few current and ex-internationals in their side with them due to restart their domestic one-day competition this weekend.
But we have come over here to play some tough cricket, which is just what got.
When you look at the squad Australia A have named, it is not going to get any easier. That is why a tough first match will be good for us in the long run, helping us to get up to speed.
Nine of their 12-man squad have already played for Australia, so there are a lot of experienced cricketers in there alongside other younger guys who did well in the Big Bash Twenty20 competition recently.
We have built a great team spirit this winter, both in India and now here in Australia.
It is fair to say that there is a difference to a county squad, who are team-mates all year round. The Lions guys have not played together quite as much, but we shared the experience of a tough tour to India before Christmas and have bonded.
It is starting to feel like a county set-up now, and we are all desperate to win for each other.
This week coming sees another couple of matches against Victoria - the second one at the MCG on Wednesday.
The MCG is one of the best cricket stadiums in the world, so everyone is looking forward to it.
When you watch the Boxing Day Test on TV and see the crowds there, it does make you want to play there one day. I know it isn’t a Test match, but it will still be a special day for us all.
Australia A squad Aaron Finch (c), Tim Paine (vc,wk), Shaun Marsh, Joe Burns, Callum Ferguson, Adam Voges, Ben Cutting, Nathan Coulter-Nile, John Hastings, Kane Richardson, Cameron Boyce, Josh Hazlewood.
England Lions schedule for Australia tour 2013
February 7: Victoria 2nd XI, Junction Oval - Victoria won by eight wickets
February 11: Victoria, Junction Oval, 11am (local time)
February 13: Victoria, MCG, 11am
February 16: Australia A, Blundstone Arena, 2pm
February 18: Australia A, Blundstone Arena, 11am
February 22: Australia A, Blundstone Arena, 11am
February 25: Australia A, SCG, 11am
March 1: Australia A, SCG, 2pm