Shane Bond is confident that he has quickly adapted back to the pace of international cricket after nearly two years on the sidelines due to his ICL deal. Bond, 34, arrived home to Christchurch on Thursday after collecting six wickets at 40.33 in New Zealand's Champions Trophy campaign.
Although Bond was at times expensive, most notably when his nine overs against Sri Lanka cost 82 runs, he also proved that he remains a potential matchwinner, as when he grabbed 3 for 21 from ten overs against England. It's just over a month since Bond's comeback to the New Zealand team, having previously not played an international match since late 2007.
"The jump is massive and even from the time I've been out, the game's jumped up another couple of levels with the advent of Twenty20 and some of the shot-making and stuff," Bond told the Press. "The pace of the game is huge, but I felt that I slipped back in pretty comfortably.
"It was fun and it's probably as relaxed as I've been. It was still a bit up and down, in terms of performance sometimes, but you've got to expect that."
Bond picked up 1 for 34 in the final loss to Australia and he said despite the defeat, reaching the decider was a positive sign for New Zealand. The team has been regular semi-finalists in global tournaments and he believes by going one better this time, the squad will take more confidence into their next major tournament.
"To make the final of a tournament like that was a real career highlight," Bond said. "Disappointing not to win but I really enjoyed the occasion and, in terms of all the injuries we had, to make it and turn it into a competitive game was a hell of an effort.
"Just to win that semifinal [against Pakistan], the next time we get to a tournament and get some of our other players back fit, that'll give us the belief that we can make the final. Even though the victory seemed comfortable enough for Aussie, I think we gave them a pretty good run and that will do wonders for our confidence."