The Kolkata Knight Riders have invested heavily on overseas fast bowlers from IPL-I, but returns seem inversely proportional to the amount spent. Shane Bond is the latest on this list and has five more games in his first season to prove that he is worth $750,000 (Rs 3.35 crore) per year for three years.
The Kiwi who quit Test cricket to focus on the shorter versions came here after good outings at home against Australia. But he hasn’t been penetrative with the new ball and his economy rate is yet to justify his strike rate.
Bond beat Matthew Hayden a few times in his first game, at Eden Gardens, with the new ball bouncing and leaving the left-hander, but didn’t get wickets. His only early victim so far is Ravi Bopara, in Mohali.
If doing damage with the new ball was one objective of buying him, then Bond’s inability to break through early must have been a reason why the Knights failed to defend 200 against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday.
Coach Dav Whatmore belongs to the fast growing group of people who look at bowlers in T20 in India mercifully. He agreed that it’s a bitter truth.
“To be honest, the nature of this game is such that even the best gets whacked quite often...Even a good ball can go for a six. There isn’t much one can do after a point,” Whatmore told HT on Monday.
“Otherwise, I’m quite happy with him (Bond). He has done what is expected of him and has been good in areas like the dressing room and team meetings. We can’t take things emotionally. We have to look back at every over and look at the causes. We have to agree on a remedy after that and get on with it.”
It’s a little harsh to point a finger at Bond after Sunday but even if one takes that off, his score sheet wouldn’t be flattering.
Barring Umar Gul and Charl Langeveldt to an extent, the foreign quicks of the Knights — Shoaib Akhtar ($425,000 or approximately Rs 1.89 crore) and Mashrafe Mortaza ($600,000 or Rs 2.68 crore) — have been bad buys. Mortaza has played just once in two seasons and is with the team.