Recall the puppeteer
Now retired from Test cricket, The Hindu reflects on Christchurch-born bowler Shane Bond’s career describing him as “a once in a generation” who “not since Richard Hadlee” has a New Zealand bowler “tormented the opposition batsmen”. The stage was the 23 ODI World Cup in South Africa. A mouth-watering Trans-Tasman showdown was in store at Port Elizabeth as New Zealand took on Australia, the form team of the tournament, and favourites in the tie. The set script, however, appeared lost on one of New Zealand’s few genuine match-winners: Shane Bond. Bowling with panache and possessing a mean bouncer, Bond, sent down a hostile spell of spine-tingling fast-bowling. Returning with what were then his best ODI figures (six for 23), the former policeman paralysed the Australian line up beyond measure. Although the Australians beat New Zealand comfortably, it was sheer joy watching the ebullient Bond make the batsmen hop and dance to his tune like puppets on a string.