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30th March 2011

Geoff Cook updates from Dubai

“There have been some good performances, a bit of excellence and a bit of rustiness, as you would expect, some good performances in terms of being able to make some forward planning so it’s really been a beneficial three days.  But most importantly it’s been great to get on the pitch and get some cricket in ahead of the season starting next week, it’s been absolutely invaluable in that sense.

“Dale is inherently a good leader and people follow him quite comfortably and he knows Phil (foot injury) is here and will take over the four day stuff when he’s ready and we hope that’ll be pretty soon so it’s been a case of organising the players so most people get a bowl and people get a fair chance with the bat. 

“Most of the seamers bowled around 10 overs and Stephen Harmison bowled about 13 overs through three spells which was good for him to get into his rhythm.  Graham Onions bowled with remarkable quality considering he hasn’t bowled in over 18 months.  The stand out performance was Scott Borthwick – he bowled really well. All in all it was a good work out for the seamers and there was some really encouraging stuff from Scott.

“Michael Richardson has played very well behind the stumps, he’s had two consecutive days in the field, 90 overs yesterday so it was a testing time for him then and forty overs today.  What was really good is that it was a close game and he went in and showed a lot of calmness and a lot of ability to get us over the line so that was really encouraging.  

“Rocky [Mark Stoneman] played exceptionally well in the two day game. He played really well and it was really encouraging, the wicket on the morning was quite lively and it was a good challenge for him.

“It’s not a conundrum when a few people score well, it’s important that they get their cricket in and then you sit down and try to select your best team for the games ahead, we start with two four day matches and we’re pretty much settled on the batting line up, it’s just a case of the bowlers pushing their game forward, getting enough work in while we’re here and staying injury free.

“Unfortunately Mark Davies (foot) has picked up another injury so he’s out of contention now, Ruel Brathwaite is making good progress with his hamstring injury but he’s not going to play any cricket here so won’t be in contention for next week so the numbers are slightly dwindled in that sense but we’ve still got two t20 matches and a couple days practice so there’s more opportunity for people to put the necessary work in.”