Only two players in men’s ODI history have made it to 100 wickets quicker than Shane Bond. Just four reached the milestone faster than Trent Boult.

Here, we analyse the first 100 wickets of the two BLACKCAPS’ opening bowlers’ careers.


 

For many fans, the lasting memory of Shane Bond will be yorkers that swung in late and bowled some of the world’s best. With that in mind, it’s perhaps a little surprising that Trent Boult shades him in this category – although, Kyle Hope and Chadwick Walton have recent experience with just how accurate Boult can be with the swinging ball.

If we combine bowled and LBW stats, the duo each accounted for 32 of their first 100 wickets by bowling fast and straight. It also means they have an even split between doing all the work with the ball, and getting some help from a pair of hands.

In terms of left/right preferences, Boult does slightly better against his fellow left-handers, Bond has the margin with those who share his right-hand preference. This is reflected in the stats for the batsmen the pair dismissed most in their first 100: Bond claimed Ricky Ponting (RH) six times while Boult’s taken Quinton de Kock’s (LH) wicket four times.

Dismissal/Batsman
Shane Bond
Trent Boult
Matches
54
56
Bowled
23
24
LBW
9
8
Caught - Fielder
48
52
Caught - Wicketkeeper
20
16
Right-Hander
70
66
Left-Hander
30
34
#1-3
44
42
#4-8
41
44
#9-11
16
14
5-Wicket Bags
3
3

Statistics tallied with their career total at exactly 100 ODI wickets

While both bowlers have been used to clean up the tail, as openers their record against the top order is where Bond and Boult found their strength. In the period where both bowlers claimed their century, they each had solid support but in different ways.

For Boult, that came largely in the form of fellow pacemen, as Tim Southee (91) and Mitchell McClenaghan (82) helped work out the top order. All three bowlers took 14 wickets against the tail, giving Boult’s colleagues the percentage advantage in terms of wrapping up the tail. The trio also played a fairly similar number of games in this period.

While Boult was the leading BLACKCAPS’ wicket-taker during the time span of his 100 wickets, that isn’t true of Bond who had Daniel Vettori claiming 108 wickets in that period. Of course, there is an asterisk on Bond’s career where he was out of the team for more than two years – a time in which Vettori managed to play 56 ODIs without Bond, taking 50 of those 108 wickets.

In the first year of his career, Bond claimed 51 wickets and was well supported by Andre Adams who took 40. When Bond returned, Kyle Mills (31 wickets) took over the support role with Vettori (also 31 wickets) in the time it took him to reach his century. In a neat piece of symmetry, those two periods of his career were evenly split between 27 games each.

Bond played just 28 more ODIs in his career, finishing with 147 wickets. At his peak, he was arguably the best fast bowler in the world and many New Zealand cricket fans still lament his period out of the national side.

At 28, and with a hefty diet of ODI cricket on the horizon as we head towards another World Cup, Trent Boult should, fingers crossed, play a lot more matches and take a lot more wickets. If he’s eyeing up the records for 200 ODI wickets, he will have Kyle Mills (NZ record, 135 matches) and Saqlain Mushtaq (ODI record, 104 matches) in his sights.

Feature Image: BLACKCAP, Trent Boult, during the 2nd ODI ANZ International Series match, New Zealand BLACKCAPS v Bangladesh, Saxton Oval, Nelson, 29 December 2016. Chris Symes, www.photosport.nz

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