My bowling's looking up, but I'm better than a No 11!

Oxford Mail: ALL-TIME GREAT: Terry Alderman bowling in 1985 - but I didn’t recognise him in the Test Match Special box! ALL-TIME GREAT: Terry Alderman bowling in 1985 - but I didn’t recognise him in the Test Match Special box!

WE have reached the end of January and I’m just over halfway into my Aussie adventure.

From Monday to Friday, I have been back in the swing of my weekly routine, consisting of gym and fitness work combined with cricket training and netting.

There is also time for a few visits to the beach just to remind myself of where I am!

Last Wednesday, I did four hours’ coaching with Lancashire spinner and friend of mine, Steve Parry, at his coaching clinic.

‘Pazza’ is one of the English pro’s playing over here and a good man to catch up with, as well as throwing me a few dollars to help coach his school holiday academy.

As far as playing goes, my ability has started to shine through and I have remembered where to bowl the ball, which is pleasing not only for me, but also for my teammates who were probably wondering how I even got to first-class level!

“I haven’t bowled outside since September” was an excuse I could only use so often.

I took a Michelle 5fer (that’s five wickets for those not in the know) in one game and this week I picked up three in my first two-day outing for Willetton. My body is finally clicking into place and the rhythm has eased in, so it bodes well as the weeks go on.

I’m still pretty miffed that I’m batting at No 11 in the team at present. As far as the standard goes, I’m good enough to bat in the top order, but as I’m a latecomer and they clearly don’t rate me, I have been stuck at 11.

As it happens, I batted last week for the final four balls of a one-day innings and smote 15 not out, so that may have helped my case for a higher berth.

The weather has been stinking hot the past few weeks and very humid, which is unusual for Perth as it’s normally a very dry heat.

I sweat at the best of times, so by the time I leave the field at the end of the bowling innings, I’m drenched, but it helps the fitness regime and weight-loss.

Last Friday at the WACA in Perth, I was invited into the BBC Test Match Special commentary box to be interviewed on my reasons for being in Oz and what it’s like playing grade cricket over here.

So not only did I get to watch most of the game – which England actually won – I could also have a mooch around the commentary areas and do something a little different.

I stayed in the box for a while after my stint was over and a tall, portly Australian came and sat down and started commentating as a guest on TMS.

I hadn’t a clue who he was until his name was announced as Terry Alderman, the legendary Aussie opening bowler.

I watched a lot of footage of him on TV growing up and he was one of the all-time great swing bowlers.

I didn’t recognise him as he had put on a few pounds and was sporting a goatee and a baseball cap, but it was an honour to meet him.

There’s not a lot I can add about England’s Ashes tour, and the ODI’s didn’t go much better. At least we won a game and avoided a whitewash in both forms of the game.

I met up for dinner with Bresnan, Bell, Buttler, Woakes and a few other guys when they were in town and they were in surprisingly good spirits, but I could sense they had been having a hard time and were drained.

I did my best to entertain them with my witty banter and humour, but they lost the final one-dayer, and as I write this, they’ve just been beaten in the first T20 . . . ah well!

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