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Mark Richardson: Bond made others look good
December 23, 2009
Mark Richardson on Shane Bond's decision to retire from Tests and just how much he will be missed
 
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Shane Bond rattled the Pakistan line-up with his fiery pace, New Zealand v Pakistan, 1st Test, Dunedin, 3rd day, November 26, 2009
Mark Richardson: "Statistics show that with Shane Bond in the attack, New Zealand were able to bowl sides out and they had a 50% chance of winning Tests" © Getty Images
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Mark Richardson: It is a major shame for New Zealand cricket in terms of their future and right now, their near future in Test cricket. The statistics show that with Shane Bond in the attack they were able to bowl sides out and they had a 50% chance of winning Tests; which for this current New Zealand side is a pretty good ratio. Without him, they would struggle to bowl teams out; they have operated without a spearhead and because of that they haven't won Tests and they've slid right down the world rankings.

Basically with Bond in the attack, they had a Richard Hadlee type character that the other bowlers could operate around. It turned them into good bowlers because they operated as they are which is as support bowlers. But without Bond they are not strike bowlers and they have suffered. Even Daniel Vettori became a better bowler with Bond bowling at the other end - it was like a Shane Warne-Glenn McGrath kind of scenario.

He will be missed in Tests and until New Zealand find an express bowler they will struggle to win Tests in the near future. As for one-day cricket, he can now focus on that; we know he is a top one-day cricketer and he is a very good Twenty20 cricketer as well. So at least New Zealand may have him for an extended period in the ODIs and Twenty20s. We know Twenty20, as some say, is the future of cricket and so it will be good to have Bond there.

So hopefully the fact that he is not playing Tests, means that he can play for longer; his body will hold up and the game of cricket is not lost for him. If he had continued to play Tests, maybe, in a year's time, he would have been forced to retired from all of cricket and that would have been a shame.

Former New Zealand opener Mark Richardson is now a television commentator and cricket columnist


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