| Bond: Keen to go flat out
Colombo, Sept. 14 (Reuters): Australia have identified New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond as a major threat as they attempt to reverse their poor recent record against their trans-Tasman rivals in Sunday’s Champions Trophy pool I opener.
Bond was player of the series when Australia lost three out of four encounters to New Zealand in the annual triangular tournament in January and February, losses that cost the world champions a place in the finals for only the third time in the competition’s history stretching back to 1979-80.
“What he was able to do was to get wickets beyond the 20th over, he ripped the heart out of us,” Australia’s captain Ricky Ponting said Saturday.“(New Zealand captain Stephen) Fleming brought him back to get wickets and we allowed him to do that. We’ve identified that.”
The success Bond enjoyed — he took 21 Australian and South African wickets in the tournament — has left him confident and looking forward to locking horns with Australia again.
“It would be nice if they had the odd little doubt in their minds,” Bond said Saturday. “But they’ll have plans to counter me and, knowing the Australians, they’ll probably come at me even harder.
“In all honesty, that might make things a bit harder for me so I will have to improve my bowling if anything. But to have done well against them, the best team in the world in both forms of the game, gives you a lot of confidence and I’m really looking forward to it.”
With unfancied Bangladesh the third side in pool I, the losers of Sunday’s match will almost certainly miss out on a semi-final place.
“The format means it becomes a pretty big game, we’re all aware of that,” Ponting added. “We need to be sharp and at our best and all our preparations are geared towards that and I’m confident we can do what we have to against them.”
Australia (from): Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee, Michael Bevan, Andrew Bichel, Adam Gilchrist, Jason Gillespie, Nathan Hauritz, Matthew Hayden, Jimmy Maher, Damien Martyn, Glenn McGrath, Andrew Symonds, Shane Warne, Shane Watson.
New Zealand (from): Stephen Fleming, Nathan Astle, Shane Bond, Chris Harris, Paul Hitchcock, Kyle Mills, Chris Nevin, Jacob Oram, Matthew Sinclair, Scott Styris, Glenn Sulzburger, Darryl Tuffey, Daniel Vettori, Lou Vincent.