Bond out of Pakistan series
New Zealand’s hopes of clinching a Test series win over Pakistan suffered a serious blow when strike bowler Shane Bond was ruled out of the last two games through injury.
The 34-year-old was named man of the match after claiming eight wickets in the Black Caps’ 32-run win in the opening Test, his first following a two-year absence.
He suffered some discomfort during the encounter in Dunedin, and an ultrasound has since confirmed that he has torn an abdominal muscle.
“Because I’ve had an injury there before, I’ve had aches and pains there for a long time,” said Bond, who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career.
“When you’re going into a Test with four bowlers you want for your own piece of mind to know that everything is fine. During the Test match itself it was fine.
“I just wanted to get it checked out to make sure I wasn’t going to let the team down (in the last two Tests) and got a bit of a shock, so I’m really disappointed.”
A replacement for Bond - possibly Tim Southee - has yet to named, but the fast bowler’s absence could see Daryl Tuffey, who is already in the squad, make his first Test appearance in five years.
There was better news for New Zealand regarding Iain O’Brien, who dislocated the middle finger of his right hand during the final session at University Oval.
The 33-year-old has been cleared of any fractures and is confident he will be able to play a full part in the second Test, which begins at the Basin Reserve on Thursday.
O’Brien took two wickets in Dunedin once the finger had been put back in place and is not expecting the injury to affect his bowling in Wellington, although he is likely to have to wear protection when fielding.
He explained: “It shouldn’t affect me letting go of the ball; it’s if it comes back at me that could cause me some problems.
“Then just picking the ball up and throwing it in the field I might have to do some work on that and see where it’s at.”
Rain has hampered the teams’ preparations this week with both forced to practice indoors for the past two days.
Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq lamented the bad weather after it denied him valuable time outdoors to adjust to the New Zealand conditions following his arrival from Pakistan.
“You can’t help the weather,” he said. “Whatever you have you just have to get the benefit from that.
“That is always a problem for Asian players when they come here because there’s a bit more bounce and pace (in the wickets). We have to just negotiate these things. I think I’m ready to face these kinds of conditions.”