On tour with Mike - Getting stuck into ICC WT20

On tour with Mike - Getting stuck into ICC WT20

Coming into the World T20, there's definitely expectation considering the way we've played and the standards we've set, and we really want that to continue. We know it'll be quite different and we'll need to show a different skillset to what we showed at home, but we've certainly brought confidence from the way we played in the home summer and know the way we want to go about things. 

The training camp in Abu Dhabi was really good, but I think we would have liked one more competitive game. We were one short of where we would have liked to have been, but it was a valuable transition point for us - coming straight from New Zealand to Dhaka would have been too tough, so coming via Abu Dhabi with their great training facilities was worthwhile. 

We got that competitive match last night against Pakistan, it was certainly valuable playing a sub-continent side who bowl good spin, with seamers who can get reverse swing and whose batsmen know how to create width. It was a good test for us.    

It's a slight advantage having just played in Bangladesh in October - but the fact that we've gone home in between and played on quicker surfaces means we still have to make the adjustment again. We did get to introduce a number of new players like Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham and Mitchell McClenaghan, who had their first tours to the sub continent, and that experience will be very useful as the tournament progresses. They all learned a lot and that will be valuable. 

Even off the pitch, you're familiar with the hotel, there's no surprises, you know what food you can eat for example so we're certainly ahead of the game there. A lot sides are wary of Chittagong for example, but we know the hotel, we know where we can go to get some food, and we're quite comfortable there. 

Spin will obviously be a big factor here, both our ability to play it, and we've got some quality spin bowlers ourselves. Nathan McCullum has been ranked at the top end of T20 bowlers in the world for three or four years now, and with Ronny Hira, Anton Devcich and Kane Williamson, who's an underrated short form bowler too, I think we're well catered for. We don't have the guys who run in and bowl Doosras or anything like that, but we've got experienced T20 bowlers and hopefully they can make an impact in the tournament. 

As we get into the tournament, look out for Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill to make a big impact at the top of the order. They've looked in great touch so far and if they can get the side off to a good start we've certainly got a lot of power through the middle and towards the end. If those two can set the scene for us we're in for a show. 

In twenty over cricket you need two or three guys that can play an innings that takes the game away from the opposition - those are more important in T20. I do believe that playing cameo innings will be harder here because of the nature of the surfaces, so we will require people to bat deep into the innings. 

I think the compressed time frame for pool play is an advantage, Twenty20 can take it out of you physically and mentally especially in this heat. You'd rather train then play than spend too much time training and thinking about the next game. We know our opposition pretty well, there's been a lot of scouting done on our opposition and we'll get new information as everyone plays here and we'll need to factor that in. 

Tomorrow we will play Australia in Fatullah in a Twenty20 match, then a five over match, then a super over. I exchanged emails with Darren Lehmann and we decided that this format was a good idea for both of us. With weather around, there's always a possibility of a five over game or something similar, and we haven't been as prepared for super over matches as we've needed to be in the past. We've had two super overs in tournaments before, so they're really important and it'll be nice to be put under that kind of pressure tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and your support, and I certainly hope you enjoy watching the tournament.

With Thanks To

ANZ Ford
Burger King Tui CCC Powerade Caltex 2 Degrees GJ Gardner BLK
Sky Pitch Radio Sport TAB Accor Hotels Les Mills