Bad weather allows Daniel Vettori to put his feet up

Lynn McConnell

December 27, 2001

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Rain at Wellington's Basin Reserve might have ruined everyone else's day, but New Zealand's left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori wasn't complaining - it was another day for him to put his feet up and rest the ankle that is still recovering from injury.

Play in the second National Bank New Zealand-Bangladesh Test was abandoned at 4.45pm when constant showers, after a mid-morning deluge, made preparation of the ground impossible in the time available.

New Zealand will resume its first innings at 72/0 at the earlier start time of 11.30am tomorrow.

For Vettori it was a chance to have a break from the heavy workload he has had in recent weeks, especially since returning to the Test side in Australia, having earlier been carried from Manuka Oval on a stretcher after suffering a twisted ankle.

However, his recovery was so quick that he was back in Australia in time for the first Test, although he is still troubled by the ankle.

"It comes and goes, at times it troubles me a bit," he said today.

"At other times it is fine. I am trying to keep on top of it at the moment but it does cause some annoyance."

Asked if he could quantify where he was at in terms of full mobility, he said that some days it felt like 50%.

"Once I warm up and get into things it feels reasonably well, it's that time when I come off for lunch and try to get back into it after it cools down a bit" that was the problem, he said.

The good news however, is that he is feeling no ill effects of his stress fractures suffered last year in his back.

He has suffered none of the tell-tale warning signs of problems, especially waking up in the mornings feeling sore.

"I had quite a big two week period in Australia when I went from Adelaide through Hobart to Perth when I bowled close to 200 overs. To get through that was the biggest thing I've done so far," he said.

Bowling 25 overs into the teeth of a Basin Reserve northerly had also caused no ill effects. He wasn't too upset to have to bowl into the breeze while the faster bowlers had the luxury of bowling downwind.

"In the end it didn't really affect my bowling, I was still getting the drift and the arm ball was swinging so it probably wasn't too much of a concern," he said.

"I was there to play more of a defensive role so the quicks, who bowled very well at the other end, picked up wickets.

"Within myself, I still see myself as an attacking bowler and was still trying to take wickets at that end," he said.

Vettori said he had to accept that when the wind was that strong he would have to bowl into the wind to keep the fast bowlers happy.

He said he was feeling comfortable with the slight changes he has made to his bowling action, changes brought about because he had his shoulders going in one direction and his hips in another.

"I found it [the change] has helped my bowling a bit. I get more on the ball doing it that way. It works out a bit easier to do things when you are not bowling across yourself," he said.

Vettori, who became targeted as a Harry Potter look-a-like by Australian fans, admits to being something of a cricket nerd and is aware of his advance through the ranks of some great names in New Zealand's cricket greats as his wicket tally rises.

"I keep a regular eye on that sort of thing," he said of his placement at fifth equal on the New Zealand bowling list with Ewen Chatfield.

If the New Zealand batsmen do their job tomorrow, Vettori can expect another day with his feet up before he sets about trying to advance up the bowling list during Bangladesh's second innings.

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