It’s Lord’s week and many of us including myself will become a little anxious as the start of the first Test rolls closer.
Day one at Lord’s will be a special day for everyone. It’s about soaking up the atmosphere and the tradition, and enjoying every minute of the week. It can become a bit overwhelming so it’s critical the players don’t forget their core roles.
We can’t get away from the hype of a Lord’s Test and we don't want to either. However, most importantly it’s the first of a two Test series that we’re here to win.
One thing we’ve done well of late is not getting too far ahead of ourselves. We just deal with the next hour, the next session and it’ll be no different on Thursday at Lord’s.
There’s no doubt that everyone would love to get on the honours board at Lord’s (for centuries and five wicket bags), and if someone does that will be fantastic, but there’s 15 players in this squad and a group of support staff who would also love to win a Test at Lord’s. That’s our priority.
We catch England in the middle of their season and they know the conditions better than we do but we’re fresh and we’re confident in each other’s ability. We know we can put the home side under pressure and we’ll need to do that starting from day one.
It’s one of the toughest parts of my role selecting the starting XI for any Test let alone one at Lord’s. We just need to be consistent with our selection policy and select the best side for the conditions. Saying that is easy but I can’t help but feel for the guys who won’t be playing.
In our last warm-up game against the England Lions in icy cold Leicester, it was good to see our new ball attack of Trent Boult and Tim Southee finding their rhythm after shaking off a bit of rustiness.
Hamish Rutherford’s century was a timely confidence booster heading into the Test series while it was pleasing to see both Dean Brownlie in the runs again and Ross Taylor have a good couple of hours at the wicket after his time in the IPL.
Despite a few too many rain breaks in Leicester we’ll be ready come Thursday – and so will the nerves.