Bumble's Blog: David Lloyd on England in New Zealand, Virat Kohli and James Anderson
'Wardy, Nas and I are going to travel around New Zealand in a campervan. It's the 'facilities' I worry about!'
Last Updated: 12/02/18 8:38am
David Lloyd - preparing to follow England around New Zealand in a campervan - blogs on feisty Virat Kohli, a chance glimpse of James Anderson training and anxiety in sport...
It's a long, long way to New Zealand but the slog is totally worth it when you get there!
I'm travelling from Manchester to Heathrow, then on to Los Angeles, Auckland and Wellington so jet lag here we come!
It's been some time since I last worked in September so I'm raring to get going and commentate on England again.
This winter I've been on a diet of steak puddings, pies and mushy peas but over in New Zealand I've got to put up with lobster, prawns and some crisp white wine. I'm not sure I'll be able to cope!
Ian Smith is my fish man - I've got my order in already.
Ian Ward, Nasser Hussain and myself will be supplementing Sky New Zealand's coverage (they are a good crew out there with the likes of Smithy, Simon Doull, Mark Richardson, Craig Cumming) and we might have one or two surprises for you along the way.
I won't give too much away just now but Wardy, Nas and I are going to spend part of the trip driving around in a campervan - you know the type, one of the old classics.
It's the 'facilities' that one worries about!
Earlier this winter I did a four-day stint in a campervan. My good lady Vipers said 'why don't we travel through Europe'. I said, ''I'm not too sure about that - driving on the wrong side of the road and all that business; and what about the dog?' Vipers said she could come as well.
Anyway, we had a trial run in a hired campervan - four days on the Northumberland coast. We were in it one hour and Vipers wanted to go home! So I suppose Europe is now on the back-burner.
Watch NZ v England on Sky Sports Cricket
England's winter travels take them to New Zealand in February and March - and you can watch live on our dedicated channel, Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404), or follow the action on our digital channels.
England's strength at the moment is white-ball cricket but they just didn't get enough runs against Australia in Hobart; it's like any other one-day game, you need a major innings to push you up to 170/180 if you're batting first. A score of 150 is not too much of a problem for the opposition.
Twenty overs is 120 events; you need someone like Mahela Jayawardene, a wonderful player who could tick over at a good rate, in your team as well as the master-blasters.
Aside from a left-arm seamer, the other thing I'm absolutely convinced you need in T20 cricket is a leg-spinner - see last week's blog! Along the way there will be one or two drop-in pitches, which is always interesting, and I'm looking forward to two cracking white-ball series.
It was great to see Richard Gleeson called up into the England Lions squad for their tour of the West Indies, the other day, because he's a name that I've been pushing forward.
At 30-years-of age he's no spring chicken but he's a big strapping lad and he's quick; he's got a brain on him as well.
I've also been keeping an eye on India's ODI series against South Africa.
Virat Kohli has taken over the Sachin Tendulkar mantle and I'm really looking forward to seeing him later this summer in England. It's a mouth-watering series to really look forward to.
He seems to be a feisty character and while he might just have to curb that a little there's no mistaking that he is the premier batsman in world cricket.
His form of late is extraordinary - he's got that talent of never looking like getting out once he's in.
India are a fabulous one-day outfit; it's funny that England and India seem very similar in as much as their one-day cricket is bang on, but they are found wanting in five-day cricket away from home.
It was terrific to see 1,200 children from all the schools at Accrington Stanley this week to help mark 50 years since the club reformed.
The club gave a replica shirt to every Year Three primary school child attending - highlighting what a brilliant place Accrington is. The lads are such a tight group, from Andy Holt - the chairman and owner - down; his passion is Accrington and the club.
There was also a wonderful interview with William Rodney Kee, the leading goal-scorer in League Two, who opened his heart up to speak about anxiety and depression; it's a fantastic interview and we're all absolutely behind him.
Overwhelmed by the response I have received today 🙌🏼 hopefully this can help more people open up. Lots of love Rodney ❤️😘— Billy Rodney Kee (@billykee29) February 7, 2018
Earlier this week I spoke with Charlie Colvile for a series which will be running on Sky Sports Cricket later in the summer - working title 'Mind Games', which will go into the psychology of the game.
I don't mind admitting that I suffered with self-doubt and I still get a buzz when I go on to commentary; ahead of my stint I'm thinking 'we've got to do this right' (I notice that Fakhar Zaman has just got back into Pakistan team) but that just means you care about the game because no one wants to fail, in any walk of life.
Whether you miss an open goal, drop a catch, come up short in a swimming competition it's so important that you deal with that side of things in the right way - and it's the same for coping with great success; celebrate success but when the chips are down there's got to be a real togetherness.
The other thing about Billy Kee and many other sportsmen and women is that it's so important that you have family support to fall back on and understanding from your bosses. In cricket, the PCA does a terrific job in that respect.
One other thing - while I was at Old Trafford doing that interview with Charles Colvile, I spotted Jimmy Anderson running the streets around Old Trafford on his own in the freezing cold.
The moral here is that you get out what you put in; that's dedication and that's where he gets his 523 Test wickets from. A real pro.
Join Bumble, Nasser and Ian Ward for the Trans-Tasman Series clash between New Zealand and England - live on Sky Sports Cricket from 5.30am.