Injury lay-off revives Vettori's passion
Daniel Vettori believes his recent time on the sidelines has rekindled his passion for the game although he remains reluctant to commit to how much his body will allow him to the play in the future.
Vettori said he retains ambitions to return in all formats for New Zealand and he will make his comeback in the one-day series against England which precedes the Champions Trophy. Vettori had previously stepped away from the one-day game but the Achilles injury which has kept him out of action since the World Twenty20 last September has reminded him what he is missing about international competition.
"I suppose the eight months out that I've had has rejuvenated a passion for the game, regardless of which format," he told Alison Mitchell as part of ESPNcricinfo's Tea Break series. "I think if I'd played all through those eight months I might not have been available for one-dayers, but now I just want to play some cricket."
He does concede, however, that there is an element of stepping into the unknown regardless of how much training he has been able to do during this time at the IPL and in practice matches such as the one earlier this week against a Northamptonshire Select XI where he struck 150 and took four wickets.
"I should be alright," he said. "The hardest thing is that I've had literally no cricket in the last eight months. Couple of one-day games for my provincial team back home, then the warm-up game here. It's felt pretty good. I got through a lot of training during the IPL but you never know until you actually get into a game situation, so that's the hardest thing - the game situation is an international and you don't ideally want to be trying things out in those sorts of games.
"I batted for a while the other day, and it hurt a little bit after that. I think if I can manage it as much as possible, then I can play games and hopefully build up to Test matches later in the year."
When Bruce Martin was ruled out of the second Test at Headingley, Vettori was drafted into the squad and for a while he appeared set to play before conceding that he would not yet be up to the strains of a five-day game. That, however, has not quelled his desire for a return as part of what he sees, despite the recent reversals, as a promising Test side under development.
"If I can come back into the side, it'll be about contributing to some wins. I think that's what everyone's desperate for. We've got a fantastic pace bowling attack, and if I can complement them, particularly with the subcontinent tours coming up, and be part of Test match wins, that's what I'm really excited about. I look back on my career and those have been my best times of my cricket career, so I'd like a few more of those."