England allrounder Chris Woakes is looking to put a long hard winter behind him and develop his death bowling skills in the Indian Premier League.
Woakes admits that the Ashes series and tour to New Zealand were tough on him and his England teammates.
At the Royal Challengers Bangalore he has been asked to do a job at the death something he hopes will stand him in good stead with the ODI World Cup and World T20 on the horizon.
Speaking to press during the IPL Woakes said: “The English winter was tough.
“Obviously we played a lot of Test cricket away in Australia and New Zealand, which was hard work.
“I had a really good winter with the white ball and coming here I felt in good rhythm. It’s been nice to pick up wickets, and would have been nice to go for a few less runs.
“But you know that’s the nature of the game, you are going to go for the odd boundary, particularly when you’re bowling in the Powerplay and death overs.”
Woakes has been working on a knuckle ball variation like the one used to good effect by Aussie Andrew Tye but will use the ball as a surprise rather than a stock delivery.
He said: “It’s a very good delivery (knuckle ball) if you can bowl it well.
“The main thing with your variations is that you deceive the batsmen and you disguise them well.
“If you can bowl a knuckle ball but the batsman can see it very easily, then it’s not a good delivery. But if you can disguise it and it’s a surprise to the batsman, then it is a good delivery.
“It’s something which I’m continuing to work on, trying to improve my game. But yes, variations are key, particularly in these conditions with small grounds, good batsmen, good surfaces. You need to try and be able to deceive the batsmen.”
The Lancastrian was fresh off some standout displays in the 2003 World Cup.
Hales lost his place in last year’s World Cup-winning squad after news of a second failed test for recreational drugs.
The Warwickshire all-rounder is one on 18 bowlers to be selected for personalised practice.
The West Indies are due to arrive on these shores first this summer.
Broad took part in an individual training session at Trent Bridge.
Clare Connor suggested England are considering hosting a Women’s Tri-Series also involving India and South Africa.
The designated bowlers, whose identitites have not been confirmed, will have their temperatures checked.
The ECB had planned to introduce 40 professional contracts this summer across eight regional hubs.
County are waiting on a decision.