Saturday, Dec 03, 2022

'My Role Is To Bowl Fast'

'My Role Is To Bowl Fast'

Disclosing his plans to counter the Indians' batting prowess, the Kiwi sensation reveals he 'needs to generate speed to knock them (the visitors) over. It's all about putting the ball in the right area to try and get right up there,' he says.

Besides alien conditions, the Indian cricket team will be tested by a fierce Shane Bond, who backed himself to knock over the strong batting line-up of the visitors in the forthcoming Test and one-day series.

"I think the first Test is our big chance to hit them when they're not used to the colder weather and the wickets," said the sensational New Zealand fast bowler, who is in terrific form clocking the fifth fastest delivery in the history at 151.3 km per hour this season.

"They have some truly great batsmen and there is much less margin of error for us -- but if they are mentally strong, I can be stronger," said Bond.

India will play two Tests and seven one-day internationals during their 47-tour of New Zealand. 

Bond, a policeman, burst on to the international scene in the VB series in Australia last season, taking 21 wickets from nine games to be adjudged the Player of the Series. His five for 25 against Australia was the best figures by a New Zealander and he snaffled Australia's best one-day batsman Ricky Ponting in every match.

After a foot injury, he rolled over the West Indies on dull pitches, picking up two five-wicket hauls as New Zealand recorded their first ever series win in the Caribbean earlier this year.

"After Australia, I think India is the next best batting line-up, some would even debate that if you lined the two up against each other."

Bond said his team was fully prepared to face the visitors and added he was confident to scalp the "key" Indians. "We started doing homework on the Indians when they were in Sri Lanka. We have tapes coming in from England from their series there for our video analyst as well," said the bowler.

"To get those key wickets, you have to be patient even if it means not going for the wicket every ball but just wearing them down.

"It may take 10 overs rather than three to get to them but I'll back myself to get those important wickets," said the tearaway Bond, who features in the line-up for tomorrow's 'Super Max' game against the tourists.

Even though Bond will have only four overs to bowl, he would look to establish an early dominance against Sachin Tendulkar and company with his blistering pace.

"My role is to bowl fast...I need to generate speed to knock them over. It's all about putting the ball in the right area to try and get right up there.

"They look like they've come from pretty flat tracks in India so if our wickets do a bit and bounce, we can beat them."

Bond was adamant the foot fracture that took him out of last summer's home series with England just after he had become a headline act in Australia was a blessing in disguise.

"In all fairness, when I went to Aussies for the Test series, my preparations were not ideal. I wasn't as strong and as fit as I could have been, having to work as a policeman around cricket.

"On hindsight, that break after the injury was probably something I needed. I got on a diet, lost a bit of weight, worked on my action and assessed what I needed to do to be a pro athlete.

"When I came back, it all added up to some good performances in the Windies. I've had another two months training now - I'm leaner and stronger."

The importance of having Bond in the side prompted the New Zealand Cricket to place a restriction on the fast bowler not bowling more than 40 overs in a four-day match or 25 overs in an innings for Warwickshire next season. Bond replaced South African captain Shaun Pollock as the overseas player for the English county side Warwickshire.

Named player of the year, Bond is among the 20 offered contract by the NZC and is absolutely amazed at how the year has panned out. "It is amazing and I keep telling my family I have gone through from a nobody to a hero in a matter of a year."

 The tearaway fast bowler was confident that success against the Indians will only add to his growing stature.



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