Daniel Vettori's patience being tested by injury

JONATHAN MILLMOW
Last updated 05:00 12/02/2013
Daniel Vettori
MAARTEN HOLL/Fairfax NZ

TANTALISING TARGET: Black Caps veteran Daniel Vettori admits to some guilt if he overtakes Richard Hadlee's 431 test wickets.

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Daniel Vettori looks younger without his beard.

He is in Porirua on business but inevitably the subject is cricket.

In the past fortnight he has turned 34 and become a father for the third time.

He calls himself a "house husband" and says the ongoing tendinitis in his left Achilles has been"demoralising".

Some of his answers lack conviction, not because he is being difficult but simply because there is no guarantee he will get back on the park.

He can bowl but he can't run.

"Some people will say that has been the case for a couple of years," he says. Vettori has always been good with his one-liners.

The injury has probably robbed him of the honour of becoming New Zealand's most successful test bowler.

Richard Hadlee took 431 in 86 tests and Vettori is marooned on 359 in 111.

Vettori needs 73 scalps, which based on his wickets per test ratio will take 23 further tests or up to four years, if you factor in the 2014-2015 season when test matches will take a back seat to 50-over games because of the World Cup.

"I can't play another three to four years," Vettori says.

"It actually feels like it would be wrong for me to overtake him anyway.

"Paddles took 86 tests - that is five wickets a test. If I get it it will be due to longevity."

Vettori's goals have changed because of his injury. Perhaps he could aim for 400?

"I just want to get back on the park," he said.

"I'm a little bit elusive with my (comeback) plans and I have to keep it that way because of the injury."

For all that, everyone in life has a plan. His involves getting a couple of games under his belt for Northern Districts in next month's one-day competition to fit him for New Zealand's tour to England in May.

Reminded that the Indian Premier League is sandwiched in between, Vettori believes he could be in for a quiet time with Bangalore.

"The IPL will be interesting for me.

"Murali will play before me so I will probably be sitting on the bench. Hopefully over there I can bowl a lot in the nets and get some overs in that way."

Vettori has been off the scene since the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in September. He describes the New Zealand captaincy shambles as "unfortunate" but believes the team is back on track.

So there is not a lot more to be had today. Vettori has some hands to shake around a business interest in artificial turf.

The turf laying is under way at football's Ole Academy in the Porirua Hospital grounds, with completion of the $1 million project due in four weeks.

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