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Martin one of NZ's best-ever Test bowlers - Vettori

ESPNcricinfo staff

November 6, 2011

Comments: 11 | Text size: A | A

Chris Martin bowls Njabulo Ncube, Zimbabwe v New Zealand, only Test, Bulawayo, 3rd day, November 3, 2011
The one after 200: Chris Martin celebrates 200 wickets by getting one soon after © AFP
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Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has showered generous praise on fast bowler Chris Martin, who became only the fourth New Zealand bowler to take 200 Test wickets when he dismissed Kyle Jarvis in the Bulawayo Test. Vettori, who is the second-highest wicket-taker for New Zealand, said Martin was one of the best to have bowled for New Zealand.

"Chris has always impressed me right from day one," Vettori told Sunday Star Times. "He's a fantastic bowler and probably an under-rated bowler as well. To do what he's done, it's a real credit to him and I certainly believe he deserves to be regarded as one of NZ's best-ever Test bowlers."

It had been a long wait for Martin, who spent 10 months stuck on 199 Test wickets, and then more than 23 overs of toil after Test cricket finally came along. "It was an unfortunate circumstance that I had to wait that long, simply because we haven't played any Test cricket since January," Martin said. "I'd bowled 23-odd overs before it came so I didn't know quite how to celebrate, it was more relief than anything, but it's a moment I'll remember for quite some time."

Three of the 200-club men studied in the same school, of course at different times. "To be one of four players to achieve that milestone is an honour, " Martin said. "And there are three from Christchurch Boys' High (Richard Hadlee and Chris Cairns being the other two), so that's a nice achievement for the school. Chris Cairns is obviously immediately above me on the list and I think he's got 218 wickets, so it would be nice to catch him."

Martin's average of 34.94 might not strike fear, but that it is only marginally worse than Vettori's 33.61 proves Vettori's point that Martin might be under-rated. More than the statistics, it is Martin's reliability and longevity that have shone through despite starting his career late - less than month shy of his 26th birthday. "Shane Bond was around for a while, but for the most part Chris has carried the pace attack by himself over a long period of time," Vettori said. "He's always been reliable."

What Martin has managed is rare for New Zealand fast bowlers - a near injury-free career. He has outlasted more incisive and flashier fast bowlers. New Zealand want him to stay around to share the experience he has garnered over his 11-year-old career with the younger quicks. Martin turns 37 in December, and there is likely to be debate around his place in the side, especially after match returns of 3 for 159 in the Test against Zimbabwe. Vettori, though, thinks there is more to come.

"He's still got a lot left in him and I think he wants to play for a wee while longer, which would be great for us to have him working with the likes of Tim Southee and Doug Bracewell coming through," Vettori said. "It's encouraging to have the three of them around for the Australian series [next month]. It's the first time I've seen Bracewell bowl and I've been quite impressed by him."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 7, 2011, 10:23 GMT)

A great servant for the Black Caps. I can imagine a few are nervous behind closed doors in NZ cricket though. A lot is depending on Southee to become a world beater and Boult and Bracewell to come on and be test players. Other than that the cupboard is somewahat bare.

Posted by Meety on (November 7, 2011, 3:41 GMT)

@Vineesh Kumar - hmmm, Zaheer 32, Sharma 35 v Martin 35. Nothing world beating amongst all 3 of them then hey?????????

Posted by sammykent on (November 7, 2011, 3:29 GMT)

If Tim Southee is fit and performing well I think New Zealand could have a crack at Australia. Southee, Bracewell and Martin combined, with Vettori is a decent attack. I would like to see someone with more pace in the team but Martin is a workhorse and a craftsman. The team as a whole seems to be coming together well with players like Bracewell and Williamson showing great promise. Australian supporters that expect New Zealand to be dominated may be surprised. They accounted for themselves very well on their last tour to India with Martin scything through one of the most famous batting line ups in history. Congrats to Chris on a deserved milestone, lets hope he can catch up to Cairns!

Posted by gothetaniwha on (November 7, 2011, 1:55 GMT)

Obviously you must have been asleep last year Vineesh Kumar when Tommy ran through the the Indian top order , and it was a slogging Harbajjan that got India out of that hole . Its a pity Vettori didn,t promote Tommy up the batting order , I,m sure he could have beaten his top score of 12 against the Indian quicks who all trundle around 120 - way slower than Tommy

Posted by Black_Cap_007 on (November 7, 2011, 0:13 GMT)

Well done fro getting 200 phantom, but surely this lucky win for the black caps is a huge wake up call. Our bowling attack apart from bracewell and vettori is shocking. Martin is not taking wickets like he used to. Patel has just lost it. Southee will def help but surely its time for the N.Z cricket selecters to give some more young bowlers a chance at test level. milne, boult, wagner (when legally he can!).

Posted by uglyhunK on (November 6, 2011, 15:03 GMT)

Martin's bowling action has to be one of the primary reasons for his injury free career. Simple and uncomplicated.

Posted by playitstraight on (November 6, 2011, 13:58 GMT)

Good ol' Phantom, congrats on 200 wickets!! keep it up, with the batting as well!

Posted by   on (November 6, 2011, 13:16 GMT)

by the statement of Vettori we can understand the quality of their bowling attack... with this attack they are not evening going to draw a single test match in Australia it will surely be a clean sweep by Ausies........Martin is not so great he is an average bowler..

Posted by nzcricket174 on (November 6, 2011, 11:26 GMT)

If Bond was around the whole of the last decade he would have formed a fearsome bowling combination with the Phantom. Martin is super fit he almost never misses a game.

Posted by Rukus_NZ on (November 6, 2011, 10:53 GMT)

I think Dan is onto something here, one thing that NZ needs to a transitional time where bowlers can leave knowing that they have helped someone fill their spot. I hope to see the phantom get a couple more against Australia

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