|Player:||SE Bond, DL Vettori|
DateLine: 23rd October 2009
Shane Bond has so far avoided any new injury but the premier fast bowler's comeback to test cricket could still be delayed. Bond's return to international duty after self-imposed exile in the Indian Cricket League has progressed without a hitch since he joined the limited overs side in Sri Lanka in September.
The 34-year old emerged unscathed from the three ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals before playing a full part in New Zealand's Champions Trophy campaign in South Africa.
Bond is expected to play the 18th test of an injury-ravaged career in the home series against Pakistan next month, though it is doubtful whether he will front in the opening test in Dunedin.
Bond played his last test at Johannesburg in November 2007 and his last first class match was for Durham against Hampshire in June 2008. Bond represented Canterbury only in the limited over contests last season .
New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, now also a selector, was guarded on whether Bond would be required in Dunedin.
"It's a difficult one, it's going to be tough. Obviously that's what we want to happen but Shane hasn't played four-day cricket for a long, long time.
"We don't want to force him into it and realise we could set him back," Vettori said.
"He's going to need some four-day cricket and as soon as he gets that I think he's going to be able to put his hand up for selection.
"He's got the opportunity to play in a four-day game but that's probably a day after stepping off the plane after being in Dubai.
"Whether that's the best thing to do or not, Shane is the best judge of that."