February 20, 2010

Into the frying pan

Nicky Shaw
From the chill of a northern winter to the heat of India - England's women's side have had some adjusting to do on their tour

We've had our first match of the series and have seven more to go. When we landed in India, my first thought was of the heat. It has been snowing back in England so the contrast is massive. It's taken us a few days to get used to it, the sweating and remembering to drink more water, so we don't get dehydrated. But this is a process you go through. You learn to adapt though and prepare the best you can. Back in England we were wearing jumpers and trousers for training and turning the temperature up in the house to try and recreate the heat.

To prepare for the tour during the winter I worked on my slower ball and batting against spin. There's a big spin culture here and the Indian team has a lot of good spinners, so it's about being adaptable to the pitches, they are quite different from back in England. I worked a lot on my fitness, a lot of power and strength work to make sure we can sustain our strength throughout the whole tour. So we did a lot of work with our strength and conditioning coach.

I spent New Year's at my house with team-mate Katherine Brunt and a few friends. We played games, watched TV. We didn't really fancy going out.

On this tour I am carrying a lot of cereal bars with me. Spicy food doesn't agree with me, even back in England, I usually stick to naan bread, rice, and sauces that are not spicy.

We haven't got a chance to go out in the city yet, our practice and matches have kept us busy. The one afternoon that we went out, we went to a cricket bat shop! But then we got a bit of time to look into a few shops and see a bit of the culture. We watched the England-Pakistan Twenty20 in Dubai (on TV) on Friday night which was a brilliant game and also some Australian domestic matches. I haven't really watched anything other than sports channels .

I am rooming with one of the new kids on tour: Tasmin Beaumont. Charlotte does the rooming lists for us and she has put a youngster with a more experienced player. So I am with Tammy and Katherine Brunt is with Anya Shrubsole. We try to help out. They haven't been to India before so it's tough for them to play in the heat, playing so many games in a row and training constantly. Sometimes, if they have a bad day, or if they are missing home, then just talking them through it helps. Letting them know everyone has off days and it doesn't mean you're a bad cricketer. Also, I think it helps being able to talk to people who've been on tour and through those things before.

We trained well today and will be going out for an early dinner this evening. Here's hoping the Sunday game turns out well for us.

Fast bowler Nicky Shaw is touring India as part of the England women's team for five ODIs and three Twenty20s.