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Some good old test-match cricket

So, a draw to start the series in Australia and an interesting ebb and flow to a test match that was effectively ended by that one washed out day.

I thought we started nicely with the bat and were in control before we lost day two to rain. As a result of that day, we felt we had to push on and try and get some runs quickly. Then we had them on the ropes at three-down for next to nothing, but we weren’t quite able to close the deal. After that, they were able to put together a couple of big partnerships and put us under pressure.

We obviously dominated the first couple of days, but credit to Australia for coming back and dominating the next couple, as we were under pressure. Basically, just good old test-match cricket.

Obviously we are disappointed that we didn’t capitalise on having them in trouble, because a couple more wickets and we would have had thoughts of making them follow-on. But, we created opportunities and there was plenty of playing-and-missing, as well as wickets off no-balls. Generally, though, pretty disappointing.

With regards the wicket, it was a pretty flat, ‘no result’ wicket. Maybe, if the game had gone five full days and the wicket had had lots of sun on it, it could have deteriorated, which would have increased the chances of a result. But, obviously that didn’t happen.

From a personal point of view, it was great to get runs in the first innings. But, whenever you go past 50, it’s always disappointing to not kick on and get a hundred as opportunities don’t always present themselves. That being said, if I’d got just one run, I would have still been disappointed not to get a hundred.

So, that doesn’t change. Getting 64 was a good start to the series, but I would like to kick on and get a test hundred in Australia. Hopefully, come the second and third tests, I can get the runs I want.

Incredibly, the last first-class game I played was the test against England at Lord’s, which ended on the 20th of August. So, it’s been a while, with my time being dominated by T20 cricket and some down time.

That perhaps puts this performance into perspective and it was nice to get back into test cricket, particularly with some runs under the belt.

The second test starts in Adelaide on Thursday, November 22, but the whole squad has a few days off before regrouping again. It’s a policy that has worked well for coach Gary Kirsten’s teams and I’m a big supporter of it.

The idea is to just get away from cricket for the next few days, recharge and come back fresh. So, a couple of guys are going diving, some are going fishing, and some are heading to the Sunshine Coast to play some golf and relax. I’ve elected to go to Adelaide early, as there’s a friend of mine I want to catch up with.

There’ll be a little bit of individual training, but otherwise, it’s going to be complete time off from cricket, which will be good, and I’m going to check out the city. We’ve just been in the field for the past few days, so some rest will go down well.

After that, it’s all focus on that second test, and we’ll be putting in the preparation to ensure that we give ourselves the best chance of going 1-0 up, which is crucial in a series where there is only three matches.

I’ll be in touch next week.

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