Getting a day off at a World Cup is a rarity but important that we take a day to 'switch off' and recharge the batteries. For some of us it is a trip to the Taj Mahal and others it was some time at the hotel pool, coffee, shopping, studying or reading. The Taj Mahal crew had an early start and despite the rumour it could take up to 4.5 hours we were full of confidence it could be much shorter. To paint the picture of what unfolded it's important to note that driving in India is about luck, tolerance of honking horns, occasional dodgem car driving and heavy use of brakes. Our bus driver opted for use of heavy brakes after bumping into another car! All I could see were the remnants of red tail lights flying by. Luckily it appeared nothing catastrophic had happened. We pulled over and quickly realised we had indeed hit another car and that car happened to be our own police escort.
I thought our first stop might be a toilet break, but it was a short crash stop to check out the missing back window of the police escort and view the fluid that was coming out of our bus. A number of people stood around looking at the bus and talking very quickly before we were ushered back on the bus and told 'no problem'. All was going fine and the distance between our bus and the police escort was increased slightly. It was not long until another stop was needed, I believe because the fluid coming out of the bus was affecting the brakes. We would be delayed at a service station while a mechanic was called in to repair the bus. What can you do in these situations? Given that it was Easter Sunday we completed a fiercely contested Easter egg hunt thanks to our Comms Manager Ange bringing along some chocolate. Elyse Villani used her speed, agility and hip and shoulder bumps to great effect and was crowned the deserving winner. During the Easter Egg hunt multiple people arrived to patch up our bus. I'm pretty sure that only one of them was a mechanic and the others were observers (which happens a lot here).
We hit the road again, with brakes working and excitement building for our visit to the Taj. It was an incredible experience with many a photo and selfie taken during our visit. We learnt from our guide that the Taj was built over 400 years ago for the King's second wife which had us all wondering about the first wife (and the third and fourth). Again we had the pleasure of being the backdrop to many a not-so-discreetly taken selfie before we hopped back on the beaten up bus for the long journey home.
We found it slightly amusing our bingle on the bus made such big news after reports our crash had left our skipper Meg with an injured leg. It was really just a small bump!
We have a two training sessions in Kolkata before the big final which are important opportunities for each of us to fine tune our game plan. For me it's executing my leg break against our top six. All very different players and they each have a different way of playing me. I believe the best way a bowler gets better is to be bowling at the best batters you can find. What's lucky for me is that I think we have the best top order in the world so bowling to them will be the perfect preparation for the biggest game of my career to date!