Goodbye London and, cricket wise, good riddance.
A two-hour bus ride to Birmingham is the perfect opportunity to reflect on our first two games and analyse why they haven't gone the way we would like.
Firstly, and importantly, it must be said the feeling amongst the boys is still good. It's an upbeat mood on the bus this morning with plenty of jokes and banter onboard. That tells me we certainly still believe we can turn this series around. Mickey spoke to us after the game yesterday about how great players and teams respond to challenges, using the example of Roger Federer's recent five setter at Wimbledon. He learnt about his opponent in the first two sets, discarded the fact he had not played as well as he would have liked and then proceeded to focus all his energy on dismantling him for the following three. A great game plan for us going forward.
England showing the way
England deserve credit for the way they have played thus far. Given the Pom's record in their past half dozen series at home we knew we were going to be challenged over here. They play their home conditions extremely well and play a brand of cricket where everyone knows their individual roles to the last, and they have executed those plans very well.
Of some of the key things we talk about as a group - keeping wickets in hand, rotating well, big scores from the top order, early wickets and winning the fielding battle - England have showed the way. The form and freedom with which their top order have played is something I have certainly looked hard at and am trying replicate and best.
Ian Bell is a great example of perseverance within the English team. He has been dropped from both their Test and One Day teams, yet has returned and cemented his pace in both. He has come a long way since his "Sherminator" days, as Warnie once dubbed him.
Seeing Warnie over here commentating is a constant reminder of how strong this Australian ODI team has been over such a long period and the expectation that comes with being part of it. Rest assured we as a group are frustrated and we know how frustrating it must be for everyone to see us getting beaten and that we are working our butts off to swing the results our way. The exciting thing is we certainly believe we can play much better as a group.
We said goodbye to Patrick Cummins this morning who unfortunately heads home after injuring his side. I was really impressed with Pat in the first game at Lord's, even more so that he battled through the game after his injury. He has heart and I keep forgetting he is still so young. He is an impressive young man. He could probably work on his salad a bit though...I believe this a modern term for haircut. Please let me know if I used it in the correct context.
More pressing matters
In more pressing matters, the loss of Cummins has thrown the cards into disarray. Dave Hussey has lost his partner and has had to sub in Xavier Doherty. The word is he may have to audition for a new partner soon unless X lifts his game. It's quite nice to see Huss having to play against Clint McKay in cards as they are joined at the hip pocket otherwise...although I guess being opponents they do get to sit next to each other so they can still niggle each other like husband and wife.
From the back of the bus come the dulcet tones of Watson and Lee. Guitars on knee, crooning their way through a selection of Top 40 hits. Every now and then the falsetto voices of Smith and Warner can be heard joining in.
Stick with us gang, a new city - a change in fortunes. Our charge begins in Birmingham - Mitchell Johnson's 17th favourite city in the entire world.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia