The bio-secure surroundings in Southampton, where we’re getting ready for the Test show against West Indies, seems somewhat like a sci-fi film.
When we turned up, there was a massive tent beyond the resort, where we needed to pass to receive our fever scanned. We dropped off our bags in order that they could be sprayed until they had been shot in.
Inside, there aren’t any room keys – you open doors using a program on your mobile phone. There is hand sanitiser at each turn, and on the ground you will find arrows, arrows and footprints to reveal the best way to go. We fill in a health questionnaire daily and take our very own temperature until we proceed to breakfast.
When we utilize the elevator, we push buttons together with our elbows, and just four people may get in simultaneously. In the elevator, everybody ends up to confront another wall, making it quite hard to have a conversation.
We need to use our certification any time we aren’t in our rooms or even on the practice pitch. The certification includes a processor that tracks your moves, so if anybody does get sick, we’ll understand who they’ve been connected with. Similarly, we wear face masks every time we aren’t in our own rooms or outside.
At dinner instances, it’s like being back in college. We lineup (socially distanced, of course), and have a tray and cutlery that’s wrapped in a tote. You go about and request to be served the meals you’d like, then choose it to sit in your individual desk, taking a look at the back of the person ahead.
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If it seems like I am painting a grim film, that isn’t the intention, since I understand we are extremely blessed to be here and we’ve all been anticipating this opportunity to play cricket .
To mepersonally, all of the processes we’re going through are an expansion to 2 of three pillars the England group is constructed on: respect and unity.
Unity since we’re in this together, and esteem since we carry the precautions not simply to keep ourselves secure, but everyone else at the bubble.
Stokes loses his Formula 1 crown
Training times, which include three or two at a time, are active. One half the afternoon is spent from the nets or about cricket abilities, whereas the other half is at the fitness center.
It is off the days, or even the evenings, which could be challenging to fill. For that motive, we’re fortunate enough to have been given lots of choices for maintaining amused.
The nearby golf course is taking a battering. I’m not much of a golfer – I typically only play after a year – but I’ve played three times in the last week .
I’ve attempted to find the golfing bug, however I believe I’m getting worse. I went for a wander with Ben Stokes, and he gave me a few hints I was delighted with, just for my second round to be dreadful. I simply can not get my mind around the way the professional athlete could strike one good shot, then follow along with a single which scuttles across the ground.
Away in the golf course, we’ve got a pool table, a dart board and table tennis. ) We perform a good deal of cards, which makes quite aggressive. Joe Denly is the scorer and also normally the winner. Work that you out.
The entity bringing the most attention is that the Formula 1 simulator, which can be lifelike down into the chair, steering wheel and pedals.
You may recall that Stokesy was included in a race through lockdown, so that he knows how to put this up to make the vehicle go quicker. He place his lap up time as the one to conquer, but he’s been topped with the Overton brothers. From my expertise, driving an F1 car in a facial mask may find a little heated.
Bowling bouncers in my team-mates
On the area, we’ve slowly built up the intensity towards the three-day practice game, which begins on Wednesday.
On the 1 hand, it is going to be odd attempting to get up to get an inner game in a vacant earth, however, on the flip side, you will find 30 players vie for a place in that Test side.
As a quick bowler, a part of my armoury has been competitive, attempting to rough up the resistance. Would I’m comfortable attempting to do this for my England team-mates in this circumstance? Probably not, however when the captain or coach asks me , then that’s precisely what I am going to need to perform.
I’d rather consider it as a chance to experiment with all the abilities I have been learning through lockdown, but I also have got to keep in mind that there really are Test spots up for grabs and I would like to provide the best account of myself. If I get struck for a few fours, I am certain that the competitive juices will flow.
There has been a good deal of discussion about Stokesy being captain at the initial Test, with Joe Root missing outside to be in the arrival of his second child.
I’m one of those few men and women who’ve really played beneath Stokesy, back in our times around the Durham academy.
He was a fantastic skipper back afterward, resulting in the front, like he does today. As the years have gone , he’s grown to a senior participant, setting the case and dragging people together with him.
He includes a fantastic cricket brain and, although he doesn’t have a lot of captaincy experience, he’ll have experienced players such as James Anderson and Stuart Broad about to bounce off ideas.
Stokesy will not not only tell folks what to do. He understands that players are people, so he’ll treat them as such. That stated, he’s also quite fair, so that he will not be scared to let it directly if a person isn’t pulling their weight sticking to a strategy.
He will do a fantastic job.
Mark Wood was speaking to BBC Sport’s Stephan Shemilt.