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Bond comeback in doubt

Kiwi paceman may have to wait for Test return

Bond: Lacking match practice

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori insists pace bowler Shane Bond is no certainty to make his Test match return against Pakistan next month.

The Black Caps host Pakistan for three one-day internationals, two Twenty20 matches and three Tests from November 3 to December 15.

Bond has not played a Test match since 2007 due to contract commitments with the rebel Indian Cricket League but his since cut those ties.

He returned to the ODI team in September and has put himself in the frame to make his Test comeback against Pakistan at Dunedin.

But captain and selector Vettori said the 34-year-old would have to play at least one first-class match just to be considered for the Test opener.

Valuable

"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."

Bond could play one four-day match before the first Test starts in Dunedin on November 24 but time is not on his side.

The paceman is due to arrive back home from Dubai, where New Zealand play Pakistan in a one-day series, on November 15 and could turn out for Canterbury against Otago starting two days later.

"Whether that's the best thing to do or not, Shane is the best judge of that," Vettori said.

"If he plays in that first Canterbury game and goes well the selectors will definitely look at him.

"I'd be guided by what he says because he's such a valuable asset that if we don't utilise him well, we could get ourselves in trouble."