WELLINGTON: Star fast bowler Shane Bond has been recalled to the New Zealand Test squad to play Pakistan in the first two Tests of a three-match series.Bond’s selection Friday follows a two-year absence from the New Zealand Test team due to injury and his participation last year in the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).
The injury-prone 34-year-old has played only 17 Tests since his debut in 2001 but he has taken an impressive 79 wickets at an average of 22.39.
He returned to the New Zealand one-day and Twenty20 team against Sri Lanka in September and played Pakistan in the one-dayers in the United Arab Emirates this month. “Shane has shown a lot of energy in the UAE and in domestic cricket, and has bowled a good number of overs,” selector Mark Greatbatch said. “It will be exciting to have him back.” Also returning is pace bowler Daryl Tuffey, who played his last Test in 2004 before losing form and signing for the ICL. Greatbatch said Tuffey had a good record at Test level and had made a positive return to domestic first class cricket.
“Significantly, of the 66 Test wickets he’s taken, 24 have been against Pakistan – it’s a team he’s done very well against,” Greatbatch said. Tuffey and Bond have been joined in the squad by Test seamers Iain O’Brien and Chris Martin. Batsmen Grant Elliott and Peter Fulton have returned to the Test side after last playing against Australia last year. Gaps have opened in the line-up with Jesse Ryder injured and allrounder Jacob Oram announcing his retirement from Tests.
“Grant Elliott’s inclusion is based on his excellent form in the short version of the game – we’re keen to give him an opportunity to perform in Tests,” Greatbatch said. Peter Fulton has been in and out of the Test side and makes his return based on excellent performances on winter tours with emerging players and New Zealand A teams as well as a strong start to the domestic competition, he said.Greatbatch said it was likely the playing 11 would be based around six batsmen and four bowlers, but the final line-up would be decided closer to the first Test, which begins in Dunedin on Tuesday.
New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (captain), Shane Bond, Grant Elliott, Daniel Flynn, Peter Fulton, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Tim McIntosh, Iain O’Brien, Jeetan Patel, Ross Taylor, Daryl Tuffey. afp