I've recently returned from a batting camp in Chennai with five batters, including myself, three academy players and two coaches. The whole idea was to learn about playing spin and hitting loads of balls, which we definitely did. I've been to India quite a few times, the whole experience this time round was probably the best I've had.
Everything was top-draw, from the facilities to the way we were looked after and the quality of bowlers we faced in the nets - we had spinners make us look silly on the first day, we were all at sea. The difference in the way played from the first to the last day was enormous; we actually looked like we knew what we were doing in the end.
What a normal day looked like:
My roommate, Daryl Mitchell, and I would get up at 6.45, in the gym by 7 doing a session that Ross Dewar, our S&C, told us to do whilst we were away, showered up and at breakfast for about 8/8.15, on the bus and start training at 9.30. We were given and hour and half batting slot (45mins seam and 45mins spin) and an hour to do what we want, which in my case was doing flicker with one of the coaches working on some technical work.
Back to the hotel at 12/12-15: Have some lunch, have a swim and relax in the sun by the pool for a bit, then leave for training again at 2.30, start at about 3 for another few hours - same detail as the morning session. If you wanted you could do five hours of batting a day... I think I was in and around four and a half.
The reason we had a couple of hours for lunch was they didn't want us training between 1 and 2.30 because of the heat. At that time of the day it was touching 40 and it was roasting.
As soon as we got back to the hotel after training, Daryl and I would be back in the gym about 5.30/5.45 doing the second part of Ross's gym program and some bicep curls.
Dinner at 7.30: buffet in the hotel, which was really nice. In bed by 8.30 because I was knackered - and go again the next day.
Chennai was the first real chance I had to use my new Newbery kit outside and I can safely say it's the best kit I've had. The bats are next level to anything out there and the soft gear is better than you could ever ask for.
We played an inter-squad game on the last day and I got 45 off 30 balls. I hit a couple of sixes, one over mid-off and the other over extra cover, no more than chips. I can happily say they were both because of the bat - I just chipped the ball and they flew, it was unbelievable.
So all-in-all my experience was top-draw and I've learnt a lot and my Newbery kit is unreal. I can't wait to start the season and unleash my Kudos2 bat!