Wizards’ Hamish Bennett back to his best

JACOB PAGE
Last updated 05:00 27/02/2014
Hamish Bennett
RECOVERED: Hamish Bennett, left, is back to his best after surgery.

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Canterbury Wizards pace bowler Hamish Bennett believes he is bowling as well as he ever has at any point in his career.

The 27-year-old is likely to spearhead the Wizards' attack against the Otago Volts in the opening round 50-over match at Timaru's Aorangi Oval on Sunday.

The Timaru Boys' High School product has battled career threatening back issues for the majority of his career, but regular domestic cricket and a return to the international scene during the Indian one-day international series had him enjoying regular cricket once again.

''I think [form] is something that comes with a lot of bowling and you get used to knowing where to put the ball in terms of line and length,'' he said.

''The body feels good so that's all that matters.''

The Bennett of today is a far cry from the man who thought his career might be over as he faced back surgery just over two years ago.

''During the dark days with the back [I think] every sportsman asks the question whether they are good enough to come back from an injury.

''Just before the anaesthetic went in [for the back surgery], I thought this could be it or this could be the start of my recovery.

''Fortunately I've come through the other side of it.''

Bennett said his return to the Black Caps fold for the third one-day international against India gave him confidence.

''It was a chance for me to come back and show what I can offer to New Zealand cricket.

''He finished with figures of 2-41 from 10 overs, bowled two maidens to one of the world's best batsmen in Virat Kohli and eventually had him caught behind for six runs.

''It was about me being patient - it all sounds really basic but I wanted to put the ball in the right spot and make him try to do something that he didn't want to.''

Bennett said his main goal on Sunday was to take early wickets as that's the best way to restrict teams.

''If you go for six runs an over these days you're doing well,'' he said.

''Most of the grounds used for domestic cricket are small and with four fielders only being allowed out [instead of five] the batsmen always have areas of the ground they can target.

''I think the par score last year was something like 330 so there should be some exciting cricket played, especially with the Black Caps back.''

The match starts at 10.30am.

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