9th October 2011

It wasn’t until I looked up from my bowl of custom-mixed organic muesli and caught sight of Alex Hales leafing through The Rough Guide to Indonesia that his declaration of love for “this sun-kissed archipelago” started to make sense. Clearly he’s got a grasp on reality, common sense and general knowledge that mark him out as a future England captain. More so than Stuart Broad anyway.

Like the rest of the squad, Alex is in high spirits after yesterday’s victory over Hyderabad casuals. As Andy Flower has pointed out, that gives us exactly the same flying start against domestic opposition that India managed during the one-day leg of their recent tour to England. Admittedly, as bad omens go, that’s up there with King Harold getting pink-eye on the eve of the Battle of Hastings, but put it into a historical context and this is already the most successful England tour party to the sub-continent since the East India Company first stepped ashore and started looting every natural resource they could lay their hands on.

Speaking of laying on of hands, we had a team meeting this afternoon about the winter schedule ahead where I took the opportunity to ask if the UEA was “one of those countries where they cut your hand off for masturbating?”

I know that’s not true, but it’s planted the idea into some of the younger minds in the squad. Let’s see how keen they are to push for my test spot against Pakistan now…