It has been a very busy winter with both Yorkshire and the England Performance Programme, but it is something I have really enjoyed.
After South Africa for the Champions League in October and India with the England Performance Programme squad before Christmas, I had a couple of weeks off over Christmas and New Year, which was a needed break.
Now the next stop is Australia for a tour with the Lions squad, and I am all set and ready to go again.
I have only ever been to Australia on holiday, not to play cricket. So I am really looking forward to experiencing some different conditions where I will be facing top quality bowlers of international standard. It will definitely help the development of my game.
Although developing our own games is a big part of the tour, we are definitely going there to win the one-day series against Australia A.
England and Australia have a huge rivalry, which goes back years and years. Whether you’re playing under 19s or Lions, you want to beat Australia.
It is going to be a tough test. It will be a very competitive series, and we are all looking forward to it. With a couple of Ashes series coming up pretty quickly, hopefully it will be a reminder for Australia that there’s a lot of talent in English cricket.
Joe Root has shown just what can be achieved if you perform well for the Lions alongside doing well for your county.
It is obvious that he is a very good player. I think a lot of people thought he was mainly a Test player, but he showed just what he can do in one-day and Twenty20 cricket for Yorkshire last summer.
He has now shown he can do it at international level. I am very pleased for him. He deserves it.
Watching him do well definitely gives people like myself belief that things can change and progress very quickly if you do the right things.
Doing well at the Champions League was massive for me.
It is the biggest club tournament in the world, so it was good to qualify for the main draw and play against some greats of the game. To get the runs that I got gave me confidence and belief that I can compete at that level.
Now I have the opportunity to do well for the Lions and maybe do what Joe’s done.
We are playing in Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney, but I have never been to any of those places. We have got a couple of weeks in Melbourne and a few games, so I am sure there will be the odd day off to explore the city.
Although he is not from there, Jason Gillespie has said what a great place Melbourne is. One thing I won’t be doing though is the Neighbours tour. I am not into that!
England Lions schedule for Australia tour 2013
February 7: Victoria 2nd XI, Junction Oval, 11am (local time) February 11: Victoria, Junction Oval, 11am February 13: Victoria, MCG, 11am February 16: Australia A, Blundstone Arena, 2pm February 18: Australia A, Blundstone Arena, 11am February 22: Australia A, Blundstone Arena, 11am February 25: Australia A, SCG, 11am March 1: Australia A, SCG, 2pm