It’s amazing how this game keeps throwing up challenges for us coaches.
Just when you think you have mastered the conditions you crash back to earth with a terrible defeat, albeit in a different form of the game.
Well earned success
I thought our ODI series win was a massive learning curve and reward for all the hard work that this team did post England.
We had a camp in Darwin that was tough and proved very fruitful – simulating conditions, great open and honest meetings, working tirelessly on our fitness and training against the best spinners in the country as well as incorporating two matches.
I watched the first two ODI games at home in Perth while I spent time planning for our ICC World Twenty20 campaign, reviewing our training and planning for our entire international program until the Ashes and also managed to finalise some support staff appointments.
This is far easier to do while away from the squad because when you are caught up in the team environment it’s all consuming.
We have excellent support staff around the squad and it was great for me to be doing all this work at home, knowing that the team was in the very capable hands of Steve Rixon, Justin Langer and Ali de Winter.
However, having spent that time it away, it was great to get back around the team and to witness the ODI series win was very pleasing, especially when new boys come in and make such a massive impact.
We know we still have areas of our game to improve, namely our ability to play and score off spin, but that is a work in progress and we are working really hard at it.
All in all, it was a great ODI series win and I was very pleased with the fight and character shown by the squad in very unfamiliar conditions and against good opposition who know these conditions well.
Back to earth with a bump
After all of that, it was back to earth with a bump after the first T20.
We’re using this three game series to ensure we get our combinations right for the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in a few weeks’ time. We know how difficult that tournament is going to be, we know what to expect and we need to ensure we’re prepared for it.
We have to get each player’s role clear and make sure everybody knows exactly what is expected of them and ensure they know how they are going to be used in this T20 series.
As we saw in the ODI series, Pakistan is a very dangerous team in these conditions that they know very well and we have to be really focussed and at the top of our game to beat them.
I know we have it in us. We just have to keep believing.