Nightwatchman Ashes Blog Post #5
Ashes 2015: Lord's a real treat to play at - especially when you play like we did 

After a short break it is time to get stuck in and start preparing for the Third Test.

Everyone is looking forward to the match, especially after our great win at Lord’s, and it’s exciting to be back training for what will hopefully be another clinical performance when we get underway at Edgbaston.

I didn’t play the tour match against Derbyshire. I enjoyed my time off but it was also good to head up with the boys and help out around the team.

When you aren’t involved in a match your responsibility is to make sure you’re doing everything you can to help the guys who are playing, whether that is throwing balls to batsmen or helping out the bowlers.

The great thing about our squad is that everyone is here for the same reason and we are all heading towards the same goal.

It can be quite tough for the guys who miss out on selection for the Tests, but we are lucky that everyone is supporting each other and willing to help out where they can.

The guys who didn’t play against Derby had a training session on Sunday and it was great to get stuck in.

My own build-up to a Test doesn’t change much from game to game.

Firstly, I make sure I’m bowling consistently and doing all the things I need to do well before I start to think about batting.

When I do pick up the bat it’s all about preparing for my role as the Nightwatchman, and this means making sure that my defence is working well. I want to make sure than I can do the job as best as I can for my team mates so I’m not worrying about hitting boundaries at training, just keeping my wicket intact.  

Before the Test we’ll have a team meeting to review the match at Lord’s and work out if we need to come up with new plans for any of the English players, but overall we’ll try to keep things simple and our heads clear, which is when we play our best cricket.

There is a bit of rain around Birmingham at the moment so we are hoping that this passes us by and we see a little sun at training.

I am hoping that there is a bit more life in the Edgbaston pitch than there was at Lord’s but whatever conditions they do produce has the potential to play into our hands, especially with the pace and skill of our seam attack.

This tour started back in April when we headed to the West Indies, so we have been away from home for almost three months now.

Being away for such a long time can be hard but I’ve been quite lucky that most of my family has been with me while I’ve been in England, and it’s been fantastic to have them here.

When you’re playing and training it is all business, but we are lucky to have our nights off where we can catch up with family and friends who are around. This is important as it allows us to get away from cricket and back to reality for a little while.

Aside from family and mates, the other thing the boys miss while they’re away is their footy and you’ll catch quite a few of them looking up scores on the internet over the weekend. However, that’s not a big thing for me – I have a soft spot for a couple of teams but I won’t be losing any sleep over the results! 

28th July 2015

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