New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has said that Shane Bond will not be rushed back into Test cricket when Pakistan arrive next month. Vettori said Bond will be given the freedom to decide on his return after acclimatising and adjusting to the rigors of the longer version of the game after a lengthy lay-off.
New Zealand will face Pakistan for three ODIs and two Twenty20s in the UAE early next month before heading back home for three Tests. Bond, who made his international comeback in Sri Lanka recently, has been included for the UAE leg. It has been close to two years since he played a Test and his availability for the first match in Dunedin, starting November 24, is not guaranteed, according to his captain.
“It’s a difficult one, it’s going to be tough. Obviously that’s what we want to happen but Shane hasn’t played four-day cricket for a long, long time,” Vettori said. “We don’t want to force him into it and realise we could set him back. He’s going to need some four-day cricket and as soon as he gets that I think he’s going to be able to put his hand up for selection.”
New Zealand conclude their UAE tour on November 13, after which the players join their domestic sides for the first-class State Championship. Bond will have an opportunity to acclimatise when Canterbury play Otago from November 17. But if Bond feels he is not fit for the first Test he will have to wait till Canterbury’s next game, against Auckland starting November 24, and that will mean skipping the Test.
“He’s got the opportunity to play in a four-day game but that’s probably a day after stepping off the plane after being in Dubai,” Vettori said. “Whether that’s the best thing to do or not, Shane is the best judge of that.
“If he plays in that first Canterbury game and goes well the selectors will definitely look at him. I’d be guided by what he says because he’s such a valuable asset that if we don’t utilise him well, we could get ourselves in trouble.”
The second Test starts at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on December 3.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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