It has been great to see people back outside playing sport in the sunshine.
My timeline is full of photos of mates on the golf course and people gearing up for the new season as lockdown restrictions start to loosen.
But for me that anticipation has come and gone and I am squarely on the 2021 treadmill and it is operating at a lively pace.
The India tour with England was always going to be tough on body and mind and so it proved with the results not quite going our way either.
The Tests were as stiff a challenge as you will ever see, but both white ball series could have worked out differently so we're pretty disappointed not to have come away with some silverware to show for it.
But no sooner has that finished, I now find myself in Mumbai gearing up for the Indian Premier League with Rajasthan Royals and that is going to be another intense tournament.
Then comes Test cricket, more International white ball cricket, The Hundred, more Test cricket and then the T20 World Cup and the Ashes.
It could give you a headache just thinking about what the schedule looks like, which is why I'm trying so hard to just focus on what is in front of me. It is the only way to cope with it all.
Don't get me wrong, I am loving the situation I'm in and I am really enjoying my cricket. The innings of 99 in the second ODI the other day was definitely one of my most fun innings in an England shirt.
And yet between the matches, the training, and the movement from one bubble to another, there is no doubt it can leave you feeling flat at times.
And while there is plenty of fun to be had on the field, there are moments off it when you're almost in limbo and just a bit stuck.
Of course I miss home and my family, and even though that is part and parcel of the job we love to do, it does have an impact.
We gave it absolutely everything we had to try and get some success against India but it is one of, if not the toughest assignment in the game right now. Don't forget they beat the Aussies just before they beat us, so they are operating at such a high level and that is where we want to get in Test cricket.
I played in all 12 matches across the formats and was a little frustrated that I wasn't as consistent as I wanted to be, even though I left everything on the field.
There were moments to treasure such as a decent contribution to the first Test win in Chennai and then the white ball successes, but ultimately it was a bit patchy and the results showed.
We still got plenty out of the tour with lots put into the bank for the T20 World Cup to come at the end of the year, but I can't even begin to think about that now with so much coming up beforehand.
I'd love to have a successful IPL with the Royals and show some strong improvement from the previous tournament to challenge for the title.
Hopefully I get to keep the role I played then and continue opening the batting, but we'll see what the coach and captain want to go with.
Source: Read Full Article