Bond enjoying second chance
New Zealand paceman Shane Bond feels his return to international cricket has been relatively smooth.
Last Updated: 09/10/09 12:32pm
Shane Bond was pleased with his return to international cricket after a two-and-a-half year absence.
The fast bowler, 34, helped New Zealand reach the final of the Champions Trophy in South Africa, including a haul of 3-21 in the group match against England.
Bond, a former Christchurch policeman, had previously been left out by the Black Caps due to his contract with the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League.
Following the demise of the ICL, Bond and his fellow 'rebels' have been allowed back into the international fold.
"The jump is massive and even from the time I've been out, the game's jumped up another couple of levels with the advent of Twenty20 and some of the shot-making and stuff," Bond told The Press.
"The pace of the game is huge, but I felt that I slipped back in pretty comfortably.
"It was fun and it's probably as relaxed as I've been. It was still a bit up and down, in terms of performance sometimes, but you've got to expect that."
New Zealand lost to Australia by six wickets in the Champions Trophy final but Bond was satisfied with the team's effort, particularly given key players such as Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder, Daryl Tuffey and Daniel Vettori had been ruled out at various stages in the tournament through injury.
"To make the final of a tournament like that was a real career highlight," he added.
"It was disappointing not to win but I really enjoyed the occasion and, in terms of all the injuries we had, to make it and turn it into a competitive game was a hell of an effort.
"Even though the victory seemed comfortable enough for Aussie, I think we gave them a pretty good run and that will do wonders for our confidence."