In the fourth instalment of Keeping Up With Calvin, all-rounder Calvin Harrison focuses on the importance of an open mind and a proactive nature.

Catch up with the rest of his winter diary so far below:

Keeping Up With Calvin: Feeling The Rhythm

Keeping Up With Calvin: Balancing Act

Keeping Up With Calvin: Physical Preparation


As is the case most Fridays, we finished the week with an optional day of extra training. For whatever reason, I’ve felt these are the days I have got the most out of. Even more so than normal, you're there because you want to be there, figuring out your game with maybe a little extra freedom to explore things and expand your game. 

With the ball, I’ve been working on my high-end pace – seeing how far I can push my pace while keeping my shape, so that I can challenge the batter as much as possible.

I had some really good chats with Mooresy and Hass about it; if you can get dip and drift at that quicker pace, it all happens faster for the batter, which causes a bit more doubt – or maybe even a bit of panic – in their mind.

It’s something you have to work on to get comfortable with, and it comes down to trial and error in the end, but now is the time to try it out. I’m hoping it become more of the stock pace for me, as long as I can keep generating enough energy – and I’ve shown myself this week that I can do that. If you don’t get used to bowling that pace, I think it can be difficult to push yourself if you’re on a wicket where you need it. Maybe it’s easier to drop down from a faster pace than speed things up from a slower pace.

Hopefully, it’ll help me to force mistakes from the batter a bit more – if the ball drifts and drops more quickly, it might zip onto the pad a bit, or a bit more tack might beat the outside edge. Those small reactions off the pitch will just happen more quickly.

We’ve got mats down in the indoors nets too now, which has taken it from being a hard, zippy surface to one that is a bit tackier for seamers and spinners. It has benefits when you’re bowling, and when you’re batting it tests you a lot more because you don’t get away with as much. The ball doesn’t just slide onto the middle of the bat, so you have to have really strong shape.

Things will start to get more competitive in the next few weeks of training, but I’ve spent plenty of time bowling at batters and batting to bowlers. Today, with Marts [Ben Martindale], we did a session towards the end with a number on it – he had two overs to score 24 runs. That gives you the chance to take those things you’re working on and see if you can use it when the situation demands it – and whether you can still make adjustments to mix things up and stop being too predictable.

While you need that time to work on volume – doing drills and facing sling to get something grooved – you do need to test that in a scenario to see if you can link together a play that works.

It’s been great to have Pete back this week too. He brings another energy and another viewpoint, which is always beneficial – and no doubt he’ll have brought some pointers back from his time in Australia too.

You’ve got to be open to those different ideas and views.

If you can be proactive as a learner of the game, and make the most of all the things you can draw on, then it’s always going to be useful.

Overall, this week has a bit of a ‘de-loading’ week, fitness-wise – our first of the winter. We made a few adjustments to the fitness side of our work to take a little bit of load off, because we’ll be having quite a big week on that side of things next week.

Then it’ll be time to go through our testing phases in the gym, so we’re ready to go when it’s time to head out to Abu Dhabi.