December 19, 2000

Alistair Campbell's Zimbabwe Diary

India was a great experience: Well our Indian sojourn is over, and in sitting here I'm my hotel room overlooking the beautiful town of Christchurch. We have been here in New Zealand for three days now and I am only just starting to feel human, what with forty hours of flying and 7 and a half hours time change.

India was a great experience although he results were not quite what we wanted. We lost the last two one day games to give India a 4 - 1 victory in the 5 game series. For anyone looking at the result on paper would think that we were comprehensively outplayed. However that was not entirely the case, as I believe that we were on an even keel with the Indians for most of the games but just seemed to lose it in the last ten overs of every innings. In two of the games we conceded over 100 runs in the last ten and in the last game, 76 in the last 5.

We will not win many games if that becomes a statistic we do not improve upon. All in all it was a very physically and mentally demanding tour with many lessons to be learnt, and lessons that I hope that we have learnt from and be able to put into practice for the rest of the season.

To say that the boys are happy to be in New Zealand after the rigours of India is an understatement and our first night was spent acclimatizing in a pub called the holy Grail. Dedicated to the achievements of the great All Blacks, it is a sports bar with a great aura and seeing that we are in Christchurch for 10 days, a land mark that we could become quite familiar with.

We had a practice yesterday and then I went and watched South Africa play Australia in the CricInfo Women's World Cup semifinal. I had never watched women jam before and was gobsmacked by the standard, particularly that demonstrated by the Australians. Some of the techniques on display by the Aussie's were immaculate and I later found to that a few of them actually play men's grade cricket - not surprising.

We start the New Zealand tour with a one day game against Canterbury at the Jade stadium tonight. Not ideal in preparation for a test match, but never the less a good opportunity to get the feel of NZ conditions and run out some jet lag.