Shane Bond: Siraj is awesome; good to see emergence of Afridi, Madushanka, Coetzee

Shane Bond is looking forward to working with the bowlers at Rajasthan Royals. File
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Shane Bond’s career was plagued by injuries, but when he bowled, it was a thrilling sight to behold. One of the fastest bowlers of all time, he is now enjoying his role as a coach.

After a long stint with Mumbai Indians, the New Zealander has joined Rajasthan Royals as its bowling coach for the new IPL season. But, before that he has another assignment – as the coach of Paarl Royals at the SA20, South Africa’s franchise-based league.

“I am really excited we could play in front of a crowd of 25,000, or 10,000 at home,” Bond told The Hindu. “And we have got a good squad.”

He is looking forward to working with the bowlers at Rajasthan Royals. “It is a chance for me to work with Adam Zampa, R. Ashwin, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan,” he said. “We have a good team and I don’t mind wearing pink; I quite like it as a colour in terms of fashion sense.”

His association with the IPL goes back to 2010, when he played for Kolkata Knight Riders. “Eden Gardens was a spectacular ground to play at, super noisy, and I made a lot of friends,” he said. “It was a great experience for me playing alongside Chris Gales, Saurav Ganguly, Dave Hussey and Ajit Agarkar, who is now the chairman of selectors for India.”

As a coach with Mumbai Indians, he said it was nice working with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav when they were young. “It felt nice seeing them develop into international players and then world-class players; it has been fun to be a small part of that as well,” he said. “My nine years at Mumbai was a fantastic time.”

The IPL has helped India unearth several pacers over the years, and Bond is impressed with the way Mohammed Siraj is bowling now. “He is awesome at the moment,” he said. “You have got a guy like Mohammed Shami out injured, but the others can come in and fill the stocks and you can rotate those bowlers around and still have success.”

He is glad to see young pacers emerging from across the world. “You are seeing guys like Shaheen Afridi emerge, but you forget how young he is,” Bond said. “He has had some injury problems, and you forget he is 23 years of age, and the expectation on the young guy has been massive. We also saw the emergence of a lot of young, good fast bowlers at the World Cup, like Dilshan Madushanka and Gerald Coetzee.”

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