Caroline Atkins is writing an exclusive diary for Cricket World from India where she is on tour with the England Women's cricket team. In her latest report, she describes the disappointment of losing two matches in a row, and the series in Visakhapatnam but retains a positive outlook ahead of the final match and the Twenty20s.
"Bad news. We failed to post competitive scores in both the and ODIs. We lost both games batting first and scoring 131 and 153. The consistent positive has been our bowling and fielding performances, but again you have to deliver in every department to be successful.
"As a member of the batting engine I am very disappointed in my own contributions (21, 22, 12, 20). I have spent significant time at the crease too, so must assume a fair amount of responsibility. A team averaging 157 runs with the bat is unlikely to win more games than it loses.
"Obviously living and breathing cricket on tour has provided plenty of thinking time, yet discussing the answers on paper doesn’t change the numbers by my name, or the 3-1 down position we got ourselves in. Instead, considering that you’re only ever one innings away from a hundred can help it happen for real.
"On a brighter note, Visakahapatnam, Vizag for short, has been a great place to play cricket. We had good crowds at both games and the facilities were excellent. The scores may suggest we were playing on a snake pit, but actually it was a decent surface that offered assistance to the bowlers. The new ball is entitled to zip about a bit and then it was the turn and bounce that got the better of us.
"I often judge a place by the bus trip from the hotel to the ground. The drive in Vizag took us along the picturesque coast and then up through a mixture of rural districts and more developed areas. The traffic was noticeably less congested than Bangalore, but still every driver on the road feels the need to sound their horn. This is standard behaviour for the roads and is a part of how fascinating I find it just to observe the Indian way. I realise sitting on a bus doesn’t qualify me as a travel expert, but I can say my favourite sight is how any sort of roughly open space is used for cricket games by people of all ages. Let’s hope the Chance to shine campaign can make our playgrounds and parks be taken over by cricket games too.
"Chance to shine coaching is a job that I will return to following this tour, but first and foremost, we as a squad have a chance to redeem ourselves in the final one day international and the three match Twenty20 series. I for one am due some runs, but my application in the nets or the gym doesn’t entitle me to the big scores; instead I have to make it happen on the pitch. My effort will still be at 100%, but my mental approach needs some more freedom. If I get one more chance in this One-Day International series I don’t want any more regrets."
© Cricket World 2010
Caroline made her England debut in the Ashes series in June 2001 and has to date played in eight Tests, 58 One-Day Internationals and 15 Twenty20 Internationals. Her ODI top score of 145 came when she shared a record opening stand of 268 with Sarah Taylor at Lord's.