Nottinghamshire all-rounder Sam Wood has been working on technical adjustments to his game throughout the winter, and now pre-season is getting more serious.
Net sessions in the England & Wales Cricket Board’s elite facilities at Loughborough University means the first opportunity for fast bowlers to charge in off their full run-ups.
No quarter is asked or given, and the 22-year-old has been looking forward to the challenge of batting against the Outlaws’ pacemen at full tilt.
“Since the New Year there is more cricket involved in our training, whereas before there was as little bit of cricket but it was mainly fitness-based.
“This week we’re going to Loughborough a couple of times for a few sessions where the bowlers can have a full run-in at the batsmen and we can all properly get into it.
“It’s really good for the bowlers to get a full run-up and that creates a good contest for the batsmen as well.
“Every player has worked on something specific for himself, whether it’s with the bat or the ball, and those sessions are about putting it all together, to see if it actually works.
“We’re leading up to the season now. Everybody wants to be getting into their stride.”
As an all-rounder, Wood has had both disciplines to hone, and he’s hoping to demonstrate an improvement with bat and ball to the on-looking coaching staff.
“With the bat there are a few things with my grip and my stance – I’ve just tinkered with a few aspects that will hopefully benefit me,” he said.
“I started off against the bowling machine as soon as we came back in October, then you go onto the claw for a bit, then bowlers off half a run-up, giving it all time to click.
“I’ve changed my action quite a bit with the ball. That’s about the shape I want to get that I wasn’t getting last year or the previous season.
“There are a few technical things, like shortening my delivery stride, that are hopefully going to work for me in the long run.
“We’ll see in Loughborough whether it has really benefited me, but I’m pretty sure it has.”