Vettori on verge of 300-wicket club

Napier, PTI | Updated : 06 March 2015, 01:37 PM

Daniel Vettori said today he wasdelighted at the prospect of becoming the first New Zealander to take 300 one-day international wickets, but his team's success at the World Cup meant more than individual records.   

Vettori has taken 298 ODI wickets with his left-arm spin and should have the opportunity to join the elite 300 club when the Black Caps play Afghanistan in Napier on Sunday.   

Eleven players, none of them New Zealanders, have reachedthe milestone, including all-time leader Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan (534) and Wasim Akram of Pakistan (502), the only two men to have broken through the 500-wicket barrier. Vettori, who has taken eight wickets so far at the World Cup, admitted he had given little thought to his one-dayfigures after a lengthy battle with back injury thatthreatened to end his career. 

Instead, he said he was focused on his Test figures -- he has 362 wickets and 4,531 runs and had hoped to eventually become the second player behind the great Kapil Dev to achievethe double of 400 Test wickets and 4,000 runs.   

That now looks unlikely for Vettori, who is 36 and in thetwilight of his career, but he said the Black Caps' strong runas World Cup co-hosts was inspiration enough.     

"I spent a long time thinking about those Test recordsand sometimes one-day cricket was put a little bit in thebackground, and I've come into this tournament thinking a little bit that way as well," he said. 

"Because of how we're progressing as a side and becauseit's been going so well, I haven't really thought about it, but it would be a lovely thing to achieve."     

The former New Zealand skipper, who made his ODI debut in1997, won plaudits when he came on against Australia last weekand slowed their scoring dramatically, helping New Zealand toa nail-biting one-wicket win. "My role is to be complementary to our attackingbowlers... to me tie up the other end," he said.   

"It's hard to do it all the time, so if I can allow those other guys to attack, that's really the role."Vettori was full of praise for the raucous support homefans have given the Black Caps, particularly during victoriesover England in Wellington and Australia in Auckland.   

"To play in front of that crowd in Wellington and hearthe noise and hear the chanting during Tim(Southee's) spell,then to follow it up with the crowd in Auckland, the crowd wasalmost deafening there," he said. "It was one of the best experiences I've had in NewZealand stadiums. To live those two games was pretty special."

First Published: Friday, March 06, 2015 12:54 PM
Post Comment (+)