'I did miss playing for New Zealand'
New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond has regained the motivation to spearhead his nation's bowling after a two-year break from international cricket.
The 34-year-old is preparing for a comeback in the one-day tri-series in Sri Lanka next month but wants to push his injury-scarred body and excel in all three forms of the game.
Bond has earned New Zealand selection again after he cut his ties with the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League (ICL). He has been included in the one-day and Twenty20 sides for Sri Lanka, after being ignored for the Test series.
"I did miss playing for New Zealand and found it difficult to keep myself motivated," Bond said.
"But I suppose since it is all finished with the ICL, the main thing is seeing if I had the motivation to do the training. I started it out and I really wanted to do it."
Image: Shane Bond
'I feel I'm really in good shape'
Bond is currently in Chennai with New Zealand 'A', featuring in an Indian domestic tournament to gain useful match practice in sub-continent conditions. He took three wickets in his first outing last week.
"I pushed myself as hard as I could in terms of my training, in terms of all the preparation and build-up," he said. "I feel I'm really in good shape.
"The last hurdle I suppose was coming here (to India) and getting match fitness. I got some good overs under the belt."
Bond's career hampered by injuries
One of the quickest bowlers in world cricket at his peak but frequently hampered by injuries, Bond played 17 Tests and 67 ODIs before signing up with ICL in 2007.
The Christchurch bowler initially thought he would play only limited-overs cricket to prolong his career but decided against it, revealing his Test ambitions are still intact.
"It's obviously going to be hard on me, the chances of getting injured is high, but playing Test cricket is the ultimate," he said. "I'd love to play a few more test matches.
"I figure because I've had two years pretty quiet and I have got a couple of years left I don't want to spend most of my time watching guys play, I want to just play.
"Like other bowlers perhaps, I haven't played huge amounts of cricket. So my body hasn't been worn down I suppose, even though I've had injuries.
'I have had some glucose injections'
New Zealand play two Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka on September 2 and 4. The ODI series, which also involves India, starts on September 8.
Bond revealed he still has to manage his fragile body.
"I have had some glucose injections at home (for his back), which have really helped," he said.
"I sort of know the little things I have to do to take care, the training, the physical preparation, the discipline."