I~~ll bowl flat-out to clean up Indian batting: Bond
Published: Tuesday, December 10, 2002, 18:37 [IST]
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Wellington: New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond on Tuesday sounded a warning to India, saying he would go flat-out to unsettle the touring batsmen in the opening Test at the Basin Reserve here. "I like to bowl fast and I'm going to do the same against the Indians," Bond said ahead of Thursday's first Test on a pitch, which is expected to favour pace more than spin. "I look to get the key players out," said Bond, a Christchurch policeman who has so far grabbed 26 wickets in six Tests since making his debut against Australia last season. "There'll be variations of pace, but I'll try to rely on speed and bounce and bowl fast." Bond said he was keen to perform well against India as the tourists had a strong batting line-up. "They are like Australia, especially their top order. It's a huge challenge bowling against them and you have to strive for success, but my rhythm is back after having a couple of good first-class games this season," Bond, 27, said. "Their top-six batsmen are all dangerous. We just can't afford to target just one player like (Sachin) Tendulkar or (Rahul) Dravid because someone else could stand up. We've to clean up the batting. "We'll have to do a lot of hard work if we've do well in the first Test. I'll have to bowl in the right areas. I just believe in myself and run in all day and I think I'll get the rewards." Bond said he was aware of his responsibilities as a strike bowler and was confident of meeting expectations, especially in the absence of key all-rounder Chris Cairns who pulled out of the match due to a knee injury. "It's a great chance to do something good. Being a strike bowler is a big responsibility and you are under pressure because of people's expectations," he said. "Without Cairns, someone has to put his hand up and pick wickets. It's a big responsibility for me. "He (Cairns) is a match-winner with both bat and ball. He told me to be the No 1 bowler for New Zealand and then become the No 1 bowler in the world. Now he is not in the squad and I hope to do what he did." Bond rose to fame during a triangular One-day series in Australia early this year when he bagged 21 wickets to help his team qualify for the final against South Africa. He was also named the player-of-the-series. His best in Tests came on the tour of the West Indies as he grabbed 12 wickets in three Test innings, including seven in the opening match at Barbados to set up his team's victory. "It's has been an amazing year for me, going on from playing amateur cricket to full time. I now feel more like a senior player in the team. It has all happened very fast and you just got to go with it," he said. "That (the West Indies tour) was very special for me. We struggled in a One-day series, but played fantastic cricket in the first Test in Barbados. We played fantastic as a team and that's probably the highlight of my career."