Bond prepares for return to home ODIs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bond prepares for return to home ODIs

30/12/2005 06:01:17 AM Comments (0)

You can understand if Shane Bond's feeling slightly hesitant on the eve of his first one-day cricket international on home soil in nearly three years.

New Zealand's version of Australian speed-merchant Brett Lee has been struck down by a series of injuries over the past two years which has restricted the world class quick from adding to his 68 scalps at an impressive average of 18.75.

After recovering from a lower-back fracture earlier this year, the 30-year-old was struck down with a hamstring injury a day before the Chappell-Hadlee series opener this month.

He now makes his long-awaited return in front of a home crowd since January 2003 after proving his fitness with a State Championship match for Canterbury and some hard practice sessions, but his thoughts still hover towards preservation.

"I'm confident in everything, even though I feel like putting myself in cotton wool a little bit," Bond said, with the first of four one-dayers against Sri Lanka kicking off on Saturday.

"I feel like I haven't had enough match bowling as it's been a broken season.

"Especially with the amount of one-dayers we've been playing, it was nice to get a four-day game in and get some goods overs under the belt.

"I would have liked another (four-day game), but that's just the way the program pans out and it's going to be nice to have these one-dayers and get that match fitness and game overs."

Bond has played just five of his 36 one-day internationals in New Zealand and could also be the answer to some bowling-at-the-death woes which have hampered the Black Caps in the past couple of seasons.

Although the pitches were a batsman's paradise in the Chappell-Hadlee series, the Black Caps attack still failed to bowl wisely when the opposition were starting to slog.

Bond, who also took some punishment in the 0-4 series loss in South Africa just weeks after taking a New Zealand record 6-19 against India in Zimbabwe, was confident his firepower was ready to return with more game time.

"I'm probably not bowling my best at the moment, but I'm sure I'll find that form over the series.

"You get the days where you're going to get hit, but my role doesn't change - it's about taking wickets and just keeping things simple which is what I'll be trying in this series."

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