Bollywood, fridge freezers and Pizza Hut
Sunday November 27
Today was the first match in the five-day ODI series. It was a very early start with the game starting at 9.30am due to the light fading early here. I lost the toss - still haven't changed my theory! - but we did what we wanted to do which was bat. On another slow and low pitch we got a good total of 188 with myself and Jenny (Gunn) putting on a good partnership of 91 - which included Jenny's maiden international half-century.
It was turning out to be a close game after 30 overs, but some good bowling from Rosalie (Birch) and Laura (Harper) saw us win the game by 20 runs. The highlight of the day was was receiving a fridge-freezer for winning the Player-of-the-Match award after scoring 68 and taking a wicket.
This evening I made my Bollywood debut on NDTV, on a chat show talking about women's sport. It was quite a late night so I was looking forward to a lie-in!
Monday November 28
Some of the squad headed to the shops today, while others made their way to Pizza Hut. Very unlike me, I was boring and just relaxed by the pool for the day. That evening we were hosted by the British High Commission in Delhi and met some interesting people. The hospitality was lovely and a pleasant evening was had by all.
Tuesday November 29
Sue Hughes, our physio, had warned us the previous night that we needed to do some fitness work this morning. Little did we know what was in store! Aerobics: 1980s style! To our new-found Indian soundtrack, every player had to make up a routine and lead the class for five minutes! It was loads of fun and a really good workout. Co-ordination has never been a strong point of mine, but what I lacked in that department I made up for in enthusiasm!
After lunch we headed off to Delhi airport for the first of our seven remaining flights. We were fortunate enough to be allowed into an executive lounge where we stuffed our faces with hot chocolate brownies and coffee. We arrived safely in Lucknow at a beautiful hotel just in time for dinner!
Wednesday November 30
We had a short training session in the morning at the stadium. There was a minimal amount of press around so only a few interviews today. That afternoon we watched some of the men's Test before heading up to the roof terrace for some dinner, accompanied with some classic English music.
Thursday December 1
We donned our red ribbons in support of AIDS awareness and elected to bat after winning the toss - tails are coming up trumps! About time too. A disappointing start with the loss of early wickets and, at 110 for 7, a great partnership by Caroline (Atkins) and Beth (Morgan) got us up to a respectable total of 162 for 8 from our fifty overs.
We felt confident we could defend this total having seen the Indians reach 167 in the previous match. But a few dropped catches and missed run-outs proved to be the difference and they got the runs in 49.2 overs. Despite the loss we took many positives from the match and the Indian media took great pleasure in interviewing me at the end!
That night we were hosted by Sahara, the Indian team sponsor, at their luxurious corporate complex. The food was delicious and the music, which involved hits from the summer in England, was definitely to our taste. We tried to get an early night because of our 4.30am start the next day. Fuming!
Friday December 2
We woke up thinking we'd arrive at our destination in time for lunch. But three internal flights and twelve hours later we arrived bedraggled and tired at our hotel and were ushered in for lunch at 5pm! Following lunch I didn't stop eating as dinner was only three hours later at 8pm.
The girls are fuming as there's no signal here on their English mobile phones, so I think our room phone bills are going to be fairly large!
Saturday December 3
Approaching the last week of the tour - with the three most important games still to come - we're all very excited about the remaining few days. We train today ahead of our third ODI in Guwahati tomorrow and we're all confident that we can bounce back from our last defeat.
Here's hoping that I can write next week with news of a series win!