By Josh Poysden

It’s been an enjoyable start to 2020 out here in New Zealand. On the pitch, I’ve been busy with a T20 game every Thursday night and two-day cricket at the weekends. We are through to the semi-finals in the T20 competition so fingers crossed for the finals over the next couple of weeks.

Alongside the games, training has been keeping me busy. In addition to the normal club trainings at Burnside, I’ve been net bowling at both New Zealand A & India A who are currently playing a series in Christchurch.

Ajaz Patel was part of the New Zealand A squad, so it was good to catch up with him. It’s been beneficial to not only bowl at some high-class players, but pick the brains of some of the spinners and coaches involved. I had a bowl with Todd Astle who played in the Blackcaps’ most recent Test Match at the SCG, and also Rahul Chahar who has played in the IPL. It was interesting to hear about their different theories on leg spin.

I’ve also been following my strength and conditioning program from home. After discussions with our s and c coach, Pete Sim, my main focus this winter has been on becoming quicker. To be fair to Pete, he may have a point given I was run out in three of my first four innings in the T20s here (although I would protest that they weren’t my fault!).

Without hopefully boring people too much, this has meant moving away from longer duration running and focusing more on running shorter distances quicker. It might mean my yo-yo score will be down on previous years but hopefully my speed scores will go up, as I’m normally near the bottom of the squad on these!

I’ve also tried to put on a bit of weight and size in my upper body as I hope this will help me get more revolutions on the ball.

Away from training, I’ve spent some more time exploring Christchurch. It’s a really interesting city that’s been through a lot in the last 10 years, including back-to-back earthquakes. There was actually a small earthquake recently, but I didn’t feel anything.

When cricket commitments have allowed for some time off, I’ve done a few short trips, going to Kaikoura to do some whale (and dolphin) watching, then visiting Hamner Springs, which is a small resort in the mountains. People that know me will know that I absolutely love my golf, and there are some world class courses here, which I am slowly but surely ticking off.

I’ve got under a month left out here now, and so no doubt my next blog will come at the end of my trip. Although I’m having a great time here I’m really starting to look forward to getting home, catching up with the rest of the squad and getting stuck into the 2020 season proper

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